Hummus and Ice Cream Recalls Expose FDA Struggles With Contaminated Food

The Food and Drug Administration was given new authority four years ago to help prevent foodborne illnesses, but Americans are now worried their next bite of ice cream or hummus could contain deadly bacteria.

Food safety is back in the headlines this week as Blue Bell Creameries expanded a recall this week of ice cream products made at an Oklahoma plant, and Sabra recalled approximately 30,000 cases of hummus. In addition, Amy’s Kitchen Company, Twin City Foods and Wegmans all recalled products late last month potentially containing contaminated spinach from a supplier.

All the recalls were due to potential contamination from listeria, a bacteria that can kill older, younger or frail people.

Listeria is a very deadly pathogen that is easy to spread as it grows in cold places unlike other types of bacteria. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that listeria sickens 1,600 a year and kills 260 people.