Trendy sunflower and tahini butters recalled over Listeria fears in 10 states

  • A randomly tested sample of an Oskri spread tested positive for Listeria 
  • The bacteria can cause an infection that threatens the lives of developing fetuses, the elderly and small children 
  • The company is voluntarily recalling an undisclosed number of jars of its Organic Sunflower Butter, Tahini Butter and Thrive Sunflower Butter 
  • No illnesses have been reported so far  

Natalie Rahhal Deputy Health Editor For

Jars of sunflower butter and tahini butter made by Oskri have been voluntarily recalled by the company over fears that they may be contaminated with Listeria. 

Listeria is a bacteria and infections are marked by high fever, intense headaches, body aches and stiffness as well as gastrointestinal symptoms like pain, nausea and diarrhea. 

The infection is particularly dangerous to pregnant women and has been known to cause stillbirths and miscarriages – but no one has been sickened so far. 

Listeria was discovered in two jars of the Oskri Sunflower Butter that were sold to consumers in Ohio, but additional jars were distributed to California, Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut, Indiana, Texas, Florida, South Carolina and New Hampshire.  

Oskri is recalling shipments which included products expiring in October 2019, January 2020 and February 2020.

This includes Lot #099 of Organic Sunflower Butter, Tahini Butter shipped in Lot #193 and Thrive Sunflower Butter from lot #233. 

All of the potentially contaminated products were sold in 16 oz plastic jars and the lot number should be visible on the top or the bottom. 

Listeria is most often found in deli meat and hot dogs, spreads, dairy products, including certain cheeses, smoked seafood and spruts. 

But it can find its way into other foods as well, and there are usually a few outbreaks a year. 

The bacteria comes from soil and water and occurs naturally in poultry and cows (which is why it is often found in meats and dairy products) and can survive even refrigerator temperatures.    

Fortunately for healthy adults, they are not usually vulnerable to the infection, and it isn’t typically life-threatening when they do get it.  

Pregnant women, too, usually develop only a mild illness, but the infection can be devastating – even deadly – to developing fetuses. 

Listeria may also endanger the lives of the elderly and small children, if they eat food contaminated with the bacteria. 

So, it poses a serious enough threat that even when it’s possible that food is contaminated with the bacteria, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asks its producer to pull all products that may have been contaminated from shelves. 

Oskri said in a statement that the contamination was discovered because one of its customers ‘randomly sent our product in for testing’ and it tested positive for Listeria. 

As a result, the FDA and Osrki are urging retailers to return their stocks and consumers to throw away any of the three products if they match the reported lot numbers and expiration dates. 

Meanwhile, the agency and company will continue to investigate the circumstances of the outbreak.         

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