Sabra Dipping Company has issued a voluntary recall of 30,000 cases of its hummus products nationwide over fears of listeria contamination and potential food poisoning. According to a Reuters news report, the recall follows warnings from U.S. health officials over the weekend about Blue Bell ice cream, which was also the subject of a nationwide recall over listeria contamination.
Food safety regulators said that a routine sample of Sabra hummus collected from a store last month tested positive for listeria bacteria. However, so far, they have been no reports of illnesses or fatalities as a result of this hummus recall. Three people have been reported dead between January 2014 and January 2015 after consuming Blue Bell ice cream tainted with the bacteria.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately 1600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur due to listeriosis each year in the United States. The safety agency’s numbers also show that in 2012, 831 foodborne outbreaks were reported out of which four were confirmed listeria outbreaks. The largest listeria outbreak in U.S. history occurred in 2011 when 147 illnesses, 33 deaths and one miscarriage were reported among residents in 28 states. In this nationwide outbreak, victims had consumed cantaloupe from a single farm.
The most common symptoms of listeriosis are fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. The symptoms can seriously affect pregnant women or unborn fetuses. Listeria infection during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. The infection is usually caused by consuming food tainted with the bacteria.
What To Do If You Have Suffered Food Poisoning
Here are a few steps you can take to protect your rights if you’ve suffered food poisoning:
- Seek medical attention right away. The sooner you see your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis, the better your chances of making a full recovery.
- If possible, write down everything you ate or drank for the five days before your symptoms began. This will help make that connection between what you ate and the illness you have.
- Insist on testing for food-borne pathogens. A majority of symptoms for food poisoning closely resemble flu symptoms. Unless you request specialized lab work, you may not get it.
- Isolate and preserve the food, which you believe made you sick so you can have it independently tested for pathogens.
- Save your receipts if you bought the food in a store or ate it at a restaurant.
- Document all your losses including all medical expenses and lost income.
- Contact the store or restaurant as well as your local heath agency.
- Contact an experienced Rhode Island food poisoning lawyer who has handled similar cases.
Food producers and processors as well as retailers and restaurants can be held liable for their negligence when it comes to food poisoning cases. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to determine if there was a failure to follow proper quality control measures. Food poisoning victims can seek compensation for injuries, damages and losses by filing a personal injury claim.