Falafel King recalls hummus, chili wraps

BOULDER – Falafel King Enterprises Inc. issued a voluntary recall of its Hatch Green Chile Hummus and its Hatch Green Chili Hummus Wrap because the two products may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause fatal infections.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the products, said Anmon Gilady, an owner of the company. Boulder-based Falafel King Enterprises is the wholesale-product arm of the Boulder Falafel King restaurant chain.

Gilady said that chilies from Bueno Foods in Albuquerque, New Mexico, might be the origin of the potential listeria contamination.

Falafel King has switched to frozen green chilies from Vegetable Products in Salem, New Mexico, to use in its products, Gilady said. As an added precaution, company employees are heating Vegetable Products’ chilies to a high temperature to kill bacteria before using them in Falafel’s products, he said.

Falafel King’s Hatch Green Chile Hummus comes in a 10-ounce clear plastic container with a black-rimmed lid. The recall sell-by dates are 2/14/2014 through 3/16/2014, which is printed above the back label of the container. The Hatch Green Chili Hummus Wrap is individually wrapped in clear plastic wrap. The wraps have a sticker printed with a “sell by” date of 01/28 through 02/27.

The Hatch Green Chile Hummus is one of Falafel King’s most popular wholesale products, Gilady said. He estimates the company may lose about $20,000 from the recall. Company revenue was in the $2 million range in 2013, Gilady said.

“It’s unfortunate. I eat it, and we take it home for dipping. We just decided to do this as a precaution to be extra careful. We want customers to be super protected,” Gilady said.

Falafel King’s products have no preservatives and a 30-day shelf life. The recall is dated back to Friday, Feb. 14, which is when Falafel King became aware of the Bueno Foods issue, Gilady said. The company decided to issue the voluntary recall for the 30-day period in question after consulting with U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials, he said.

Symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by the bacteria, include headache, nausea, stiffness, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The illness can cause stillbirth and miscarriage in pregnant women.

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