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29th November 2016  Content supplied by: Sabra Dipping Co.

Sabra Issues Second Recall of Hummus Due to Listeria

The FDA revealed in a press release the identification of Listeria monocytogenes at one of Sabra Dipping Co. LLC’s manufacturing facilities. To date, Listeria has not been identified in any of the finished products and no illnesses have been reported.

Sabra first posted regarding its precautionary product recall on November 19th, which included a variety of their products which had been produced before November 8th and transported to food service industries and retailers across the US and Canada. Products implicated have a best before date of up to January 23, 2017 and consumers of such products are urged to discard the product.

Product exemptions exist including their organic hummus, guacamole and Greek yogurt dips which have not been implicated in the recall. However, as a consequence of the recall, hundreds of fresh deli sandwiches which had been made by two companies and widely distributed to 7-Eleven stores across 16 states are currently under recall as their sandwich products contain the Sabra brand hummus. In addition, other food outlets including Taylor Farms have had to recall their products, including snack and vegetable dipping trays which also contained the product. Though no illness has been reported Listeria monocytogenes has an incubation period for invasive illness of up to 70 days with mean of 31 days. (Goldfine and Shen, 2007; <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em>: Pathogenesis and Host Response)

Sabra has issued a statement on their website for consumers detailing reasons behind the recall: “out of an abundance of precaution” as well as providing further details of products implicated. Their statement includes:

“We have invested heavily in technology and enhancing our processes and protocols, with guidance and input from external experts, to develop and put in place industry-leading food safety procedures, such as testing finished product from the production line every two minutes for pathogens including listeria.”

They also made clear their actions following the recent Listeria detection, stating:

“Subsequent to the inspection conducted with the FDA, we implemented a thorough and extensive factory-wide cleaning and sanitation procedure, and beyond that, we continue to work very closely with internal and external food safety experts to identify any additional steps we can take to even further enhance our efforts.”

Interestingly, concerns over Listeria monocytogenes contamination led Sabra to similarly recall approximately 30,000 cases of their hummus last year.

Listeriosis: a foodborne infection In past times, food was not strongly implicated in the transmission of Listeria monocytogenes until the report of an outbreak in Canada in 1981. This outbreak affected 41 people and had a mortality rate of 27%. In this instance, a case-control study identified coleslaw as the transmission agent responsible for the outbreak of L.monocytogenes serotype 4b.

The coleslaw had been produced at a regional food processing facility and the pathogen was cultured from an unopen pack of coleslaw obtained from the facility. An investigation into the sources of the cabbage identified a farmer who raised sheep. Two of his sheep had died of listeriosis and raw manure from the flock had been used to fertilise the soils where the cabbage was grown.

Additionally, once harvested the cabbages were stored in conditions which allowed for the multiplication of L. monocytogenes (a large, cold shed). This investigation was a landmark in strongly implicating contaminated food in a listeriosis outbreak.

Reference:  Wing and Gregory, 2002. Listeria monocytogenes: Clinical and Experimental Update Journal of Infectious Disease 185 (Supplement 1): S18-S24

Click here to use our product finder to find Listeria monocytogenes test kits.



Date Published: 29th November 2016