Multi-State Outbreak of Salmonellosis Attributed to Imported Tahini


Tahini and halva under the Karawan brand imported from Israel has been implicated in a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Concord. The pathogen affecting patients was isolated from unopened samples of product.

To date, four illnesses have been diagnosed with one hospitalization. Cases were confirmed in New York (2); Massachusetts (1) and Texas (1).

This case illustrates the ability of CDC to identify outbreaks of foodborne infection involving only a few patients residing in more than one state. Databases coupled with PCR assay and more diligent diagnostic procedures can identify the presence of specific pathogens. Application of routine Whole Genome Sequencing allows investigators to positively correlate isolates from patients with a specific food or processing plant.