Sainsbury's houmous

Own-label houmous supplier Bakkavor has insisted the production problem that led to a supermarket shortage of the chickpea dip was not a food safety issue.

News of a houmous crisis emerged this week after shoppers took to Twitter to complain the dip had disappeared completely from Sainsbury’s shelves, with notices in stores warning the entire range had been withdrawn due to a manufacturing problem.

“We’ve temporarily removed a number of houmous lines from sale due to a production issue at our supplier,” a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman confirmed today. “We expect to be fully stocked within a couple of days and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”

M&S, which has faced complaints onTwitter in recent weeks over the “chemical taste” of its houmous, has also admitted to pulling products from shelves “temporarily” following an issue with a supplier.

“We can reassure customers that our recipe hasn’t changed and that houmous is now back in store,” a spokeswoman added.

Tesco has also faced social media complaints over a “metallic taste” of its houmous, but a spokeswoman insisted there was no problem with its range.

“Wehaven’t experienced any availability issues with our houmous in stores, and customers can continue to enjoy the range,” she said.

Bakkavor has now admitted to being the supplier of Sainsbury’s own-label houmous. It blamed a problem with its manufacturing process, but insisted there was no food safety issue.

The company would not comment on its supply contracts with other supermarkets, but said it had written to all retailers that bought its houmous, alerting them to the problem.