Monday, August 27, 2007

Hummus food scare widens

Dan Bell
Saturday February 17, 2007

Supermarkets across the country emptied their shelves of hummus yesterday after salmonella was found in dips from one of the UK's main suppliers.

The recall was initiated on Wednesday by Marks & Spencer after routine testing at its supplier discovered salmonella contamination in two hummus products. M&S said there had been no complaints or reports of illness from customers.

But the company's supplier, London-based Katsouris, a unit of Icelandic food group Bakkavor, also decided to pull its hummus from Sainsbury's, Somerfield, Tesco, Waitrose and the Co-op.

Katsouris said the move was a precaution as contamination had been found only in the hummus it had supplied to M&S. The recall included M&S own brand hummus, flavoured hummus and topped hummus (all date codes); Co-op own brand hummus and flavoured hummus (all date codes up to February 28, 2007); Sainsbury's own brand hummus, flavoured hummus and topped hummus (all date codes up to February 28, 2007); Somerfield own brand hummus and flavoured hummus (all date codes up to February 28, 2007); Tesco own brand hummus, flavoured hummus and topped hummus (all date codes up to February 28), and Waitrose own brand hummus, flavoured hummus and topped hummus (all date codes up to February 28, 2007).

A statement on Bakkavor's website said: "Batches of hummus manufactured by Bakkavor Group in the UK have been recalled. Salmonella was discovered in two varieties of hummus manufactured in one of the group's factories. The cause is related to a raw material." Marks & Spencer is conducting an investigation.

A Food Standards Agency spokeswoman said: "Salmonella can cause food poisoning and shouldn't be present in ready-to-eat food."


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