Company behind tainted tehina allowed to resume distribution
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Company behind tainted tehina allowed to resume distribution

Health Ministry permits Prince Tahina to resume business, though not production, after samples cleared

Prince Tahina's product is thought to be the origin of a salmonella contamination in Israel in August 2016 (Times of Israel)
Prince Tahina's product is thought to be the origin of a salmonella contamination in Israel in August 2016 (Times of Israel)

Food manufacturing company Prince Tahina on Wednesday received permission to resume distribution to consumers of products cleared of contamination concerns.

Production had been stopped at the company’s plant over the past week after it was discovered it had been shipping out salmonella-contaminated products for more than two weeks before managers reported the problem.

The Health Ministry said it would now allow a resumption of distribution after inspecting 60 random samples of the company’s products and finding them up to standard.

New production, however, has not been resumed and the ministry has said it intends to file suit against Prince Tahina for endangering public health.

Prince Tahina must destroy over 100 tons of raw materials suspected of contamination with the bacteria.

Meanwhile, two other food manufacturers announced fears of bacterial contamination in their products Wednesday: Halva manufacturer Baracke announced a recall of several product lines from stores, while Miki Delicacies said it had found listeria in a smoked salmon product which had not been distributed to stores.

The discovery of salmonella led one of Prince Tahina’s biggest customers and one of Israel’s largest hummus manufacturers — the Shamir Salads brand, which also produces several lines of generic and branded tahini and other dips and spreads — to issue a recall of over 10 days’ worth of the products.

Shamir Salads CEO Ami Guy said his company also intended to sue Prince Tahina for not informing it about the contamination after it was first suspected.

At a special meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee to review the incident, the head of the Health Ministry’s Food Services Administration, Eli Gordon, explained that the responsibility to notify the public of a contamination belongs primarily to the company.

Last week, Unilever Israel, owner of the Telma brand of cereals, announced it had accidentally shipped salmonella-tainted boxes of cornflakes to stores.

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