Hummus lovers, beware: your favorite brand may contain listeria. This past Wednesday, Sabra Dipping Company, manufacturers of the popular Sabra Hummus, recalled over 30,000 cases of its classic variety hummus nationwide, due to possible contamination with this potentially deadly bacteria.
According to FDA health officials, routine testing in a grocery store located in Michigan uncovered the presence of listeria. While it was discovered in Michigan, hummus from the same batch may have been shipped all across the United States – hence the national recall.
Fortunately, no one has been reported to have been sickened by the hummus as of yet – and we certainly hope it stays that way. However, if you’ve got a container of Sabra Classic Hummus in your fridge, officials suggest wrapping it in plastic (to avoid spreading the contamination) and throwing it away.
The Listeria bacterium is the culprit behind Listeriosis, an infection that can be especially dangerous for young babies, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune systems. In these individuals, Listeriosis can lead to death.
According to statistics compiled by the New York Times, about 1,600 cases of Listeria appear in the US each year, and about 260 people die from the resulting infection. If you or someone you know has eaten Sabra Classic Hummus and are experiencing a fever, headache, or abdominal pain, contact a doctor as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, bacterial contamination (or other types of contamination) and subsequent recalls are not uncommon when it comes to processed foods. Because there is so much opportunity for contaminants to enter the mix at various stages during the manufacturing process, every time you eat a processed, packaged food – even one as healthy as hummus – you are taking a risk.
To avoid the risk (and enjoy maximum nutrition and flavor!) make your own hummus at home – it couldn’t be simpler.
Simply Delicious Homemade Hummus
- 1 15-ounce can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup organic tahini
- Juice from one medium to large lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (adjust to reach desired texture)
- ½ teaspoon ground, unrefined sea salt
- 1 small clove garlic, minced (if desired)
- Dash of cayenne pepper for garnish (if desired)
In a food processor, blend together the tahini and lemon juice. Then, add all other ingredients except chickpeas, and blend again until smooth. Slowly add chickpeas, and blend to desired texture, adding more olive oil if needed. Empty hummus into a serving bowl and top with a dash of cayenne, if desired. That’s it!
-The Alternative Daily