Product Recall: Listeria Linked to Sabra Dipping Co. Sample Taken March 30

If you have recently purchased Sabra Hummus from the Sabra Dipping Company, you may want to throw them out now after their Michigan branch discovered the bacterium, Listeria, in their product samples. The company has recalled their classic hummus product due to the risk of listeria contamination. Only five batches of this product were affected but this still totals over 30,000 containers that could potentially contain the deadly bacteria, listeria. To add insult to injury, according to The Daily Mail Australia, the listeria was detected in a sample taken on March 30 2015 – meaning consumers may have been consuming this product for 10 days now. The company has now issued a product recall.

According to The Washington Post, the batches affected by listeria are the ones below:

UPC/SKU Item Use by Dates Affected Areas
040822011143 / 300067 Sabra Classic Hummus 10 oz 3 059 Best Before May 11, 2015
3 060 Best Before May 15, 2015
040822014687 / 300074 Sabra Classic Hummus 30 oz 3 059 Best Before May 11, 2015 US
040822342049 / 301216 Sabra Classic Hummus without Garnish 32oz 3 059 Best Before May 11, 2015 US
040822017497 / 301290 Sabra Classic Hummus 17oz Six Pack 3 058 Best Before May 11, 2015
3 059 Best Before May 11, 2015
040822342209 / 301283 Hummus Dual Pack Classic/Garlic 23.5oz 3 058 Best Before May 11, 2015 US

So what is listeria? And why is it so deadly?

Listeria (or more precisely the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes) is described by Medilexicon’s medical dictionary as:

A sporadic disease of animals and humans, particularly those who are immunocompromised or pregnant, caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes (family, Listeriaceae). The infection in sheep and cattle frequently involves the central nervous system, causing various neurologic signs; in monogastric animals and fowl, the chief manifestations are septicemia and necrosis of the liver. Meningitis, abortion, pneumonia, endocarditis, and focal metastatic disease are associated with listeriosis. Significant foodborne illness. Origin in soil, water, silage, fecal contamination of field vegetables, improperly processed food (inadequate sterilization, punctured tins, inadequate pasteurization); very resistant organism (resists salt, acid, heat and nitrite preservatives. Can replicate at normally safe refrigerator temperatures (slow growth at 24o F.)

Listeria infection symptoms include neck stiffness, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion and weakness. In extreme cases, death can occur from listeria poisoning. People with weakened immune systems, organ transplant patients, the elderly, the very young pregnant women and people with diseases such as HIV, cancer and diabetes are the most at risk when it comes to listeria.

The US Center for Disease Control advises that people who fall into these high risk categories or people who have eaten foods known to be infected with the listeria bacteria within the last two months are advised to seek medical care. It is imperative to notify their practitioner about the possibility of listeria contamination. Listeria is treated with a course of antibiotics.

If you have purchased Sabra’s classic hummus dip and are concerned about the listeria contamination, you can return the product to the point of purchase for a full refund.

[Image credit: Sabra Dipping Co.]