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It Was the Hummus!

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Jul 13, 2007 2:30PM

Something tells Chicagoist that Pars Cove isn't going to be rocking out a booth at next year's Taste of Chicago. The restaurant — and specifically the cucumber hummus salad it served at the Taste — is at the center of a health department investigation. So far, 126 people have reported feeling ill (up from 17 yesterday), and it isn't because of the turkey legs they ate; investigators believe the tahini used in the hummus could be contaminated with salmonella.

2007_7_salmonella.jpgThe Sun-Times piece focuses on the ingredients in the hummus. The tahini Pars Cove uses in their hummus comes from Ziyad Brothers Importing, a Cicero-based food distributor. The tahini distributed by Ziyad was recalled in 2005 because of a possible salmonella contamination, though no illnesses were reported after that recall. "Our door's an open door. You can literally eat off the floors," Nemer Ziyad, one of the company's owners told the Sun-Times. "If it was our product that was suspect, I would have heard about it, believe me."

Meanwhile, the Trib goes for the gut (heh) by describing the response from the Health Department and the symptoms felt by those affected. The Health Department has brought in people from other areas of city government to man the call center as calls have come flooding in. We don't feel the need to repeat the quotes given by those infected here, but we will say this: we've had food poisoning, and we wouldn't wish that on anyone.

The Health Department urges people who ate at the Pars Cove booth and who feel ill to consult with their doctors and to call the City of Chicago at 311. Those calling from outside the city should phone 312-744-5000.

Image via Salmonella Blog.