To refresh, last week, a hummus plant in Texas recalled 14,860 pounds of it after an FDA inspection found a risk of listeria contamination (which makes people sick and can kill small children and the elderly). And then, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration “released new details on the death of Daniel Collazo, a worker at hummus-maker Tribe's factory in Taunton, Mass., who was killed by a machine in 2011” after the company “had been fined for failing to adhere to standard procedures that probably would have prevented Collazo's death, and the company had hired a consultant who told them that if they did not change their practices, a death was ‘likely certain’ within a year.”
But rather than sulking in a corner about these industry embarrassments, hummus-maker Sabra has come out swinging! The Los Angeles Times reports today that the company has petitioned the FDA for help (although the reasons have nothing to do with health and safety). Rather, Sabra is demanding an “official hummus definition.” This is to stop hummus imposters who use insufficient chickpeas and tahini - an apparently urgent problem requiring immediate FDA attention.
Although I suspect some might disagree with the urgency of this in light of more pressing issues. Just ask customers of Belleville Farmer’s Market of Belleville, IL who bought shelled walnuts that “have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes” and are now being recalled following an FDA inspection.
And that’s nothing compared to people sickened due to recent outbreaks of chicken and meat food poisoning. For example, reports indicate that 574 people now have salmonella poisoning from Foster Farms chickens.
And last week, “nearly 2 million pounds of potentially tainted hamburger patties and steak burgers” were recalled because of E. coli contamination. Rachel Tamminga, a Kalamazoo, Michigan, college student, “was hospitalized for six days after eating meat in April allegedly produced by the Wolverine Packing Co.” She has now filed a lawsuit.
Tamminga is the first person to contend that she was sickened in an outbreak that federal health officials said has been linked to 11 E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in four states. Five of those cases were detected in Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Of those sick so far, illnesses began between April 22 and May 2, the CDC added.
Tamminga developed severe, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pains and spent a night lying on the bathroom floor, the complaint alleges. She had to leave school in the middle of finals week to go home to her parents.
“While there, she remained extremely sore and weak and blood tests showed that she continued to be anemic as a result of the loss of so much blood during her illness,” the complaint said.
On the other hand, there are hoaxes like black bean hummus. What to do, what to do?