A hummus producer explains the company’s quick reaction to a positive Listeria test and lessons learned in its first-ever recall.
Last week, Lansal (doing business as Hot Mama’s Foods) issued a voluntary recall of more than seven tons of hummus and dips, due to possible exposure to Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses associated with the contaminated products have been reported to date.
However, according to one executive at the producer, better safe than sorry.
Mark Kretzinger, vice president of research and development for Lansal/Hot Mama’s Foods, told FoodProductionDaily the company acted quickly after a Texas Department of Health discovered Listeria in a 10-ounce container of Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus during routine testing. The company initiated a voluntary recall a total of 14,504 pounds of hummus, under the Target brand umbrella and several others.
“Acting out of an abundance of precaution, the company decided that in the best interests of the public to issue a voluntary recall for all products which were produced on the same date as the affected product,” he said.
Kretzinger told FPD the voluntary recall and the company’s close cooperation with health agencies demonstrate its commitment to food quality and safety.
“In its 25-year history, the company has never had a product recall; the company is dedicated to meeting the food industry’s strictest health, sanitation, inspection and safety criteria,” he said. “Every employee is committed to respecting the bounty and beauty of nature and delivering that promise to our customers.”
In addition to rolling out the seven-ton hummus recall, Kretzinger said, the manufacturer reached out to all of its customers that may have received affected product. Staff contacted retailers and distributors, and asked them to hold and discontinue selling any existing stock of the product.
“The company issued a press release to notify the public and has established a toll-free number for consumers to call if they have any questions or concerns,” he said. “Consumers who may possess any of these products are urged not to eat it and to dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund,” Kretzinger added.