Before you hit the grocery store this weekend, here’s a word to the wise: take a close look at your hummus. Sabra has pulled 30,000 cases of the snack and 360,000 containers off store shelves after samples tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes — a possible deadly bacterium.

Listeria is a bacterium that originates in soil, water, poultry, and cattle. Common food sources that can contain Listeria are pre-packaged deli meats, dairy products, raw sprouts, soft cheeses, and any smoked seafood that’s refrigerated. The company says, “ The potential for contamination was discovered when a routine, random sample collected at a retail location of March 30th, 2015 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.”Just this past week, Blue Bell Creameries recalled pints of banana pudding ice cream for containing Listeria. This contamination was connected to three deaths at a Kansas hospital. Thankfully there have been no deaths yet reported for the hummus.

Since we’re on the topic of food-borne illnesses, you might as well get the dish on cross contamination — you don’t want to get sick from one of your muscle meals. Cross contamination can happen via inadequate cooking temperatures and storage temperatures; lack of personal hygiene; poor food handling; and animal waste. Here’s a checklist you can use to keep your meal prep safe. 

Shop Smart & Prep Smart

9 Tips For Cooking Healthy In College
  • When shopping, separate the raw meat and place them in plastic bags — preventing juice from dripping onto other groceries.
  • In the refrigerator, place raw meat into containers or sealed bags.
  • Store produce and meat on different shelves in the refrigerator.
  • As far as food prep goes, sanitize your workspace before and after prepping each food item. Also, be sure to wash your hands and cooking utensils often. 
  • Marinate any meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter. 
  • Use a different cuttingboard for produce and another for meat.
  • Never put cooked food on a plate that had raw meat. 
  • Store eggs immediatley in the refrigerator — keeping them in the carton. 
  • Use all food products before the expiration date. 
  • If you’re going to freeze any meat, ensure that the meat is tightly packaged — avoiding freezer burn and rotten meat.
  • Wash your hands.