On January 26, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency posted a recall of sesame seed products due to a potential salmonella contamination. However, the original recall notice was viewed as a “vague” description of contaminated products. On Tuesday, the organization updated their notice to include specific products that are potentially contaminated.
The original posting did not specify the company that initiated the recall, instead opting to list the firm as “various.” However, the inspection agency did list ARZ Fine Foods brand 1-pound containers and unbranded bulk packages of various, unspecified weights as affected sesame seed products.
The updated report now includes eight specific products that contain the potentially contaminated sesame seeds.
Major meal kit delivery service provider HelloFresh, was one of the companies impacted by the sesame seed recall. The 9-gram sesame seed packages, included in their Toasted Brown Rice Bowl meal kit, were subject to the recall. The affected products were delivered to customers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan between January 9 and 10. No illnesses have been reported yet by customers.
Other businesses affected by the recall were privately owned restaurants. Scarborough, Ontario-based Mediterranean restaurant ARZ Fine Foods had to recall their one-pound sesame seed packages that were produced on January 9. Indian restaurant chain Rajdhani Sweets & Restaurants had to remove their Bhugga (Punjabi dessert) products from their displays due to the potential salmonella contamination in three of their locations in Brampton and Etobicoke. Iqbal Halal Foods from Thorncliffe, Ontario had to remove their 200g and 400g IHF Sesame Seed products as well.
The rest of the recalls were made by bulk sesame-seed sellers. David Roberts Food Corporation – who distribute their products to hotels, restaurants and institutions – had to recall their 2 x 1.5kg Raw Sesame Seed products. Similarly, bulk distributor Dawn Food Products Ltd recalled their 5 kg bags of raw sesame seeds. Another bulk sesame seed distributor affected was North American Impex.
Scarborough-based bulk food seller Bulk Food Stop Inc. was also impacted by the contamination and had to recall their bulk sesame seeds.
The CFIA is currently looking into the contamination, which may lead to more products recalls in the near future.
Salmonella usually induces symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Although these symptoms rarely lead to fatalities, the bacteria can cause severe dehydration in people who have weakened immune systems. So far, there have been no reported illnesses related to the outbreak.