Listeria Monocytogenes Found at Sabra Manufacturing Facility
A voluntary recall is being issued for Sabra hummus products due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Sabra Dipping Co., LLC, the company who makes Sabra hummus, says the bacteria was found at a manufacturing facility but not in the hummus itself. The recall affects products with a “best before” date prior to and through January 23, 2017. Consumers can find the “best before” date on the lid of each package.
The food poisoning attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are offering free legal consultations to individuals who suffered illness after being exposed to listeria. The firm has decades of experience dealing with consumer safety lawsuits.
“We’re recalling this product out of an abundance of caution after finding Listeria monocytogenes at the manufacturing facility, but not in tested finished product.” The company said in a statement posted on its website. “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. We want to reassure our consumers that our procedures include extensive finished product testing, and no products tested positive for contaminants. We are taking action because consumer safety is a top priority.”
The recall does not affect other Sabra products, such as organic hummus, salsa, guacamole and greek yogurt dips. Consumers who purchased the recalled products should not eat it. Sabra urges customers to dispose of the products.
Eating food contaminated with listeria can lead to serious, sometimes fatal illness. Young children, pregnant women, elderly people and people with weak immune systems are particularly at risk. Pregnant women exposed to listeria can experience miscarriage or stillbirths. Healthy people however, may only experience short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of the recall.
Sabra says it sanitized the facility after the FDA inspection. “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.” the company said.
The food safety attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP note that listeria concerns have prompted other recalls recently, including many brands of ice cream containing cookie dough pieces manufactured by Aspen Hill. Ice cream products manufactured by Dr. Bob’s of Upland has also triggered recalls. Last year, Blue Bell ice cream products were linked to a fatal outbreak of listeriosis.
What is Listeria?
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that is found naturally in the environment. Being exposed to listeria can lead to listeriosis. In people who are healthy, listeriosis may only lead to high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. However, exposure to listeria can be fatal in children, elderly people and people with compromised immune systems. Pregnant women exposed to listeria can suffer miscarriage or stillbirth. About 14 percent of listeriosis cases occurring during pregnancy.
In a warning letter to Simply Fresh Fruit, who also recently experienced issues with listeria contamination, the FDA called listeriosis “a major public health concern due to the severity of the disease, its high case-fatality rate, long incubation time, and tendency to affect individuals with underlying conditions”.
Listeriosis was added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s list of nationally notifiable diseases in 2001. Each year in the United States, 1,600 people become sick and 260 die after being exposed to listeria.
Listeria can contaminate food products at manufacturing facilities through raw materials humans, equipment, or other means. If manufacturers are not vigilant and fail to comply with proper safety protocols, listeria can easily contaminate food products and lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening illness.
Consumers can take steps to avoid listeria contamination by cooking meat thoroughly, cleaning raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption and not drinking unpasteurized milk (also avoid eating foods that contain unpasteurized milk). Washing hands, utensils and countertops after handling uncooked foods also reduces the risk of listeriosis.
Legal Help for Food Poisoning Victims
If you or someone you know became exposed to listeria through food contamination, you may have valuable legal rights. The food safety attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).