The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration has launched the outcomes of a current sampling task that targeted on refrigerated ready-to-eat (RTE) dips and spreads. Carried out from March 2021 to Jan. 2022, this task aimed to evaluate the presence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in these meals merchandise.
Refrigerated dips and spreads embody a broad vary of meals merchandise, together with hummus, tahini, pimento cheese and yogurt-based gadgets. Dips contain submerging a chunk of meals, similar to a chip or vegetable, right into a thinner consistency combination, like salsa. However, spreads are sometimes utilized with a knife onto different meals, like bread or crackers.
RTE meals can grow to be contaminated by environmental pathogens or contaminated components, making dips and spreads prone to bacterial development if current. As folks sometimes eat these merchandise with no “kill step” like cooking, the presence of Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella poses a big public well being threat, in response to the FDA.
The presence of Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella in dips and spreads poses important dangers to public well being, resulting in a number of remembers lately. Between 2017 and 2020, there have been 5 hummus product remembers and 6 multi-commodity dip remembers due to contamination by these pathogens.
In the course of the testing program, the FDA collected and examined a complete of 747 samples of refrigerated RTE dips and spreads. These samples contained numerous components, together with sesame, greens, cheese and seafood. Among the many samples, the FDA detected Salmonella in a single hummus pattern and Listeria monocytogenes in three samples of dip and cheese unfold. The FDA labored carefully with the producers to promptly take away the contaminated merchandise from the market.
Hummus and cheese dips and spreads accounted for 64 p.c of those remembers, with 10 hummus remembers and 4 cheese dip and unfold remembers.
The FDA is now reviewing the task’s findings to determine frequent components or patterns related to the contamination of RTE dips and spreads. This evaluation will assist the FDA develop steerage and alter program priorities, together with future sampling assignments and surveillance inspections.
Given the potential for contamination, the FDA advises customers to promptly refrigerate or freeze refrigerated RTE dips and spreads to scale back the danger of pathogen development. As soon as thawed, frozen RTE dips or spreads shouldn’t be refrozen. Shoppers ought to rigorously learn and observe the bundle directions for correct use and storage. When serving RTE dips and spreads on a buffet, it’s important to keep up chilly meals at or beneath 40 levels F and sizzling meals at or above 140 levels F to attenuate the danger of foodborne diseases. Chilly meals could be stored chilly throughout serving by putting shallow containers inside a pan full of ice, whereas sizzling meals could be maintained at appropriate temperatures utilizing chafing dishes, warming trays or sluggish cookers.
The complete FDA report could be discovered right here.
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