According to the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Virginia-based Sabra Dipping Co. has voluntarily recalled 30,000 cases of classic hummus, fearing possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by consuming food contaminated with the bacterium and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that it is an important public health problem in the United States. Of the estimated 1600 people who get infected each year in the USA, death occurs in 260 cases.
The population most at risk:
- Elderly and frail adults (4 times more likely to get infected than the general population)
- Pregnant women
- People with weakened immune systems
The CDC states that in rare cases, persons without the above-mentioned risk factors could also get affected.
According to the FDA, to date, there are no reports that Sabra hummus has caused any illness. However, if you have consumed hummus made by Sabra, and you have one or more of the following symptoms, consult a doctor immediately:
- Severe Headache
- Abdominal pain
- High fever
- Muscle aches
Warning for pregnant women:
- Pregnant women are ten times more likely to get infected with Listeria than the general population. The risk is even higher for pregnant Hispanic women, as they are 24 times more likely to get Listeria infection.
- The symptoms are usually non-specific like fatigue, muscle aches, etc., although fever can also occur.
- Listeria infection during pregnancy could potentially lead to miscarriage, pre-term labor, stillbirth, or serious infection in the newborn.
If you are pregnant and think you might have been exposed to Listeria contaminated food, please consult your doctor immediately.
Unlike most bacteria, Listeria can grow and multiply in some foods in the refrigerator. If you suspect contaminated hummus in your fridge, please discard.