The Handbook
The Handbook
The Handbook
By Phil Clarke | 6th November 2019

It’s the most middle class health scare since avocado hand swelled A&E waiting times; like taking a Pol Roger cork to the eye or having a having firemen ‘jaws-of-life’ off a stuck signet ring, its only really something to worry about if you’re a certain sort of stereotype, but this one’s actually quite serious. Your houmous is potentially infected…

When I get home after work I like to sit back and guzzle a family pack (with or without my family) of Walker’s Sensations, or maybe something crinkle cut if I’m feeling edgy, all eased down with a pot of houmous and a glass of wine. This presents various potential health issues, from the risk of diabetes to the dangers associated with binge watching another season of Queer Eye (whatever ‘plaid’ is I’ve literally got none of it any more). But now add to that list salmonella.

That’s because it’s been announced in the last 24 hours that 83 different types of houmous are now thought to have been infected with the thing we most commonly associated with Edwina Currie before she went and had sex with John Major. And if that’s an image you can’t get out of your head, then wait until you hear about salmonella. Literally, we’re talking both ends (we’re on salmonella now guys, leave Sir John’s personal life out of it). The food poisoning tends to clear up in days, but it can be far more serious leading to hospitalisation or even death!

So far dozens of brands of houmous have been declared infected, including hummouses (is that the plural? hummi?) from Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Waitrose, Iceland, LIDL, Safeway (is Safeway even still a thing?), SPAR, Morrisons and the chicken restaurant with the logo that’s also the Ugandan flag (not sure if this is just my observation or actually true), Nandos.

If you’ve eaten any of these before you read this, or if you’re a daredevil and planning to eat one after, then you’ve got 12-72 hours to go until you get the ‘all clear’.

But also it does get you thinking… All these humouses are made by one company, Zorba Delicacies Limited. It’s a food factory on the edge of an industrial estate just outside Merthyr Tydfil. When they’re not busy poisoning the nation they’re quietly churning out thousands of liquid tons of houmous for some of Britain’s leading retailers. So a pot of diarrhoea-inducing Nandos humous, retailing for £2 in Tesco, is made in the same vat as an identically sized tub of Aldi’s vomit-making 68p humous.

If there are two takeaways from this entire episode, it’s first check your houmous isn’t one on the Food Standards Agency list, but once it’s all over we should surely all be buying our houmous for 68p Aldi and avoiding the huge markup on the same product at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and elsewhere!

Check if your houmous is infected here…