Prepared Foods manufacturer, Lansal, Inc.( d.b.a Hot Mama’s Foods), announced this week that as a precaution it is voluntarily recalling approximately 14,860 pounds of hummus and dip products due to concerns about possible Listeria monocytogenes.

Trader Joe's hummus Image/FDA
Trader Joe’s hummus

The potential for contamination was found during a routine test of Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus (10 ounce) by the Texas Department of Health. No illness has been reported. The following products are affected by the recall: Target Archer Farms, Giant Eagle and Trader Joe’s hummus (click link to see specific products).

Lansal, Inc. has contacted all impacted retail customers and distributors instructing them to remove all affected product from sale and is working with the appropriate agencies including state Departments of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and local authorities.

Consumers who have purchased the above hummus products are urged not to eat it and to dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

Listeria monocytogenes is bacteria that is normally found in the environment and has been found in animals, birds and vegetation. It can be found in raw foods and processed foods that get contaminated after processing. Some of the most common foods that are associated with listeriosis are raw milk, soft cheeses, vegetables, and many ready to eat meats like hot dogs, deli meats and pâtés.

Those at greatest risk of serious listeria infection include pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and adults with weakened immune systems (AIDS patients have a significantly high chance, up to 300 times, of contracting the disease).

Most healthy persons show no symptoms of this disease. Initial symptoms of food borne listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, fatigue and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Primarily in high risk groups but occasionally in healthy adults, the infection can spread to the blood and central nervous system where it can cause sepsis and meningitis.

Due to a naturally depressed immune system, pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to contract this disease. Though many women may only experience mild flu-likesymptoms, infections during pregnancy can have devastating consequences to the fetus which include stillbirth or miscarriage, premature delivery and serious infections in the newborn.

What things can you do to prevent this infection? The US CDC offers recommendations to the generalpublic and high risk groups:

• Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources, such as beef, pork, or poultry.

• Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating.

• Keep uncooked meats separate from vegetables and from cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.

• Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk.

• Wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods.

• Consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible

Recommendations for persons at high risk, such as pregnant women and persons with weakened immune systems, in addition to the recommendations listed above:

• Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot.

• Avoid getting fluid from hot dog packages on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces, and wash hands after handling hot dogs, luncheon meats, and deli meats.

• Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, and Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, or Mexican-style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, and Panela, unless they have labels that clearly state they are made from pastuerized milk.

• Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable pâtés and meat spreads may be eaten.

• Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna or mackerel, is most often labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” The fish is found in the refrigeratorsection or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens. Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood may be eaten.

This very hardy bacterium can survive and even grow at refrigeration temperature. Because of this factor, Listeria presents challenges in food safety.