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Zany Zeus halloumi cheese recalled: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea-causing bacteria may be present

Editor Written by Editor · 1 min read >

Kiwis tucking into cheese over the weekend are being encouraged to check the brand after a diarrhoea-causing bacteria was detected.

A batch of halloumi cheese under the Zany Zeus brand has been recalled.

Products with a best-before date of April 8 fall under the recall notice and are being removed from supermarket shelves.

New Zealand Food Safety, part of the Ministry of Primary Industries, is supporting the company with the recall after routine testing detected the bacteria.

The organisation’s deputy director general Vincent Arbuckle said a bacteria called Bacillus cereus could be in the halloumi.

“Symptoms of sickness caused by Bacillus cereus include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea,” Arbuckle said.

“Illness occurs 1 to 6 hours after eating contaminated food. Most people get better within 6 to 24 hours.

“If you have consumed any of this product and are concerned for your health, contact your health professional, or call Healthline on 0800 61 11 16.

”[The cheese] should not be eaten. It can be returned to the place of purchase for a refund. Should you be unable to do this, throw it out.”

Arbuckle said New Zealand Food Safety would work with Zany Zeus Ltd to figure out how the contamination happened and to prevent it in future.

There have not been any reported illnesses from the contamination.

The brand is sold at selected retailers in New Zealand and advertises itself as being handmade in Lower Hutt, Wellington.

Eating a certain batch of the above cheese could cause diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. Photo / Ministry of Primary Industries
Eating a certain batch of the above cheese could cause diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. Photo / Ministry of Primary Industries

The recall notice reads: “Zany Zeus Ltd wishes to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience that this may have caused.”

Several other food items have been recalled recently, including hummus, Christmas mince pies, and ham – all pulled from shelves in December last year.

Life Health Foods NZ Ltd recalled a specific batch of its Lisa’s Hummus Chargrilled Capsicum after its label was put on a Lisa’s brand Hummus Beetroot with Roasted Cashews batch, prompting nut allergy concerns.

Source and Supply Food Co recalled batches of Smith Meats branded cooked on bone hams (whole and half) as the product may have been undercooked.

The affected ham product was sold at Matamata Butchers and Starfood in Taupō and some were sold to non-food companies.

A batch of Summer Berry Mince Pies, sold at Woolworths, Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice stores nationwide were recalled due to the possible presence of fine metal.

Arbuckle said of this recall: “Two consumer complaints have been received but fortunately no injuries have occurred.”

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.

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