Salmonella warning over sesame seeds
Health food stores were ordered today to strip their shelves of a brand of ready-to-eat sesame seeds from Bolivia because of salmonella fears.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland issued the product recall after tests on nuts and dried seeds revealed traces of the potentially lethal food poisoning.
Consumers were warned not to consume 250g and 500g packets of Independent Irish Health Foods Organic Sesame Seeds and Organic Four Seed Mix.
Professor Alan Reilly, FSAI chief executive, said officials were particularly concerned it is the second time in a year salmonella risks have been found in sesame seeds.
"Food businesses marketing these products need to ensure that both hygiene and processing are of a standard to eliminate salmonella from these ready-to-eat products," he said.
"Contaminated seeds pose a risk to health as they would be consumed raw and are generally not cooked prior to people consuming them."
The FSAI said the seeds, which originated in Bolivia, have been distributed widely around the country.
It said some packets clearly show the name Independent Irish Health Foods while others have been supplied to health stores with the marking on the front "packed by Independent Irish Health Foods".
Prof Reilly added: "We are advising consumers not to eat the affected product. Eating contaminated seeds could cause food poisoning.
"Consumers who have affected product are advised to dispose of it or return it to the store where it was purchased.
"Consumers who may have already consumed this product and are feeling unwell, should seek medical advice."