What Falafel Fans Should Know About Aldi's Recalled Items

Falafel, for those out of the loop, are a delicious deep-fried food made out of chickpeas or fava beans and rolled into balls with herbs and spices. Falafel has long been popular in many Middle Eastern nations, like Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, and is often served as street food there, per History Today. This beloved street food has gained popularity internationally as a well-liked vegan and vegetarian dish and is adored for its versatility. It can be eaten as a topping on salad or put in pita sandwiches, or it can be enjoyed alone or dipped in creamy hummus (via Food Network).

If you're a fan, it is usually easy to find falafel at your local grocery stores either pre-cooked or as a powdered mix (via Valuable Kitchen). It can often be found in the meat substitute sections, where you may find tofu. It can also be in an international aisle that supplies other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods. However, if you've recently purchased falafel from an Aldi store, you may want to throw it out.

Aldi recalls falafel over E. coli fears

According to Today, Aldi stores in 38 states have recalled Earth Grown Vegan Traditional and Garlic & Herb Falafel after it was linked to an E. coli outbreak. 20 cases of E. coli have been reported, and 5 cases have resulted in hospitalizations between July 24 and September 19. The list of affected states and lot numbers of possible contaminated products can be found on the FDA's website.

The company behind Earth Grown Vegan products, Cuisine Innovations Unlimited, LLC, announced on October 7 that they were "voluntarily recalling" these Aldi-exclusive products "due to the possible presence of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli."

The Shinga-toxin-producing E.coli may cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, but most healthy individuals will not become seriously ill. The toxin is primarily a risk for the elderly, children, or people with weakened immune systems.

Aldi has pulled all the affected products from shelves, and customers with this product should throw it away or return it to stores for a full refund.