Chickpeas suspected source of hummus taste issues

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

The different taste may have been caused by the chickpeas. Picture: iStock/ALLEKO
The different taste may have been caused by the chickpeas. Picture: iStock/ALLEKO
Hummus was removed from shelves in some UK supermarkets and recalled by a Swedish company due to ‘taste issues’.

Users on social media complained of a ‘metallic taste’ and chickpeas used in the dip are believed to at fault.

The supplier of the hummus (or houmous) to Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S stores in the UK was Bakkavor. The firm did not respond to our requests for comment.

Sevan suspects chickpeas

sevan hummus
Recalled houmous. Picture: Sevan

Sevan recalled hummus in Sweden, Norway and Finland. ​It sells 90% of the volume in Sweden and the rest in Norway and Finland. The company has its own production in Sweden.

The notice affects some products with dates from April 1 until June 11, 2017.

The firm told us the background to the recall is of a taste difference as no complaints were to do with illness.

We believe this has something to do with the chickpea inside the hummus, and this investigation is ongoing. We have cleared the factory from old stock and are now only producing with new stock of chickpeas,”​ it added.

Sevan said chickpeas were from Canada and no decision had been made yet on future sourcing.

UK: Quality issue with supplier

The UK FSA hadn’t been notified about the withdrawal when we asked the agency for comment but said businesses only need to make it aware of such action if it was for food safety reasons.

“We’re seeking confirmation that this withdrawal was done on quality rather than safety grounds, and the information we’ve received so far shows there is no indication of a food safety concern.”

Sainsbury’s said some customers told it the houmous didn’t taste the way it normally would so it withdrew ‘a number of lines’ and is investigating a quality issue with the supplier.

“We've temporarily removed a number of houmous lines from sale due to a production issue at our supplier. We expect to be fully stocked [Thursday] and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”

A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer said: “Some of our houmous products were temporarily taken off shelf due to a supplier issue. We can reassure customers that our recipe hasn’t changed and that houmous is now back in store.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We haven’t experienced any availability issues with our hummus in stores, and customers can continue to enjoy the range.”

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