How did Salmonella germs got into the Icelandic Hummus from M&S?
Salmonella germs found last Wednesday in two Hummus products, led to a bit of a Hummus-panic across the UK. Marks & Spencer was the first to announce a recall of the products, manufactured by the Icelandic Bakkavor Group and distributed in Britain by Katsouris.
Marks & Spencer says they discovered the salmonella contamination during a routine check, and that there are no reports of illness from customers. However, Katsouris has officially announced that they are taking the products off the shelves of several supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Somerfield, Tesco, Waitrose and the Co-op.
For further coverage of the story:
Hummus food scare widens [Gardian Unlimited]
M&S withdraws houmous after salmonella threat [EarthTimes.com]
Bakkavör Group product recall in the UK [Bakkavör website]
Updated statement regarding the recall [Bakkavör website]
What puzzles me, is Bakkavor’s declaration that “The cause is related to a raw material” of the dish. Salmonella, a pretty nasty germ causing everything from digestion problems to death, is usually distributed through animal protein tissues. It’s main sources in human foods are poultry and eggs.
The common ingredients of Hummus are chick-pea grains, tehina or “tahini” (sesame paste), garlic and some spices. So what was this mysterious ingredient used by Bakkavor that could be contaminated with Salmonella?