Dec 14, 2018 | Updated: 09:51 PM EST

People Refuse to Chill Over Ice Cream Recalls

Apr 24, 2015 03:26 PM EDT


People are in an uproar due to fears of listeria in the wake of two major ice cream recalls that have shaken the industry. First, it was Blue Bell Creameries recalling all of their products from store shelves due to a listeria contamination that has resulted in 10 illnesses in four states resulting in three deaths. Now, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is following the path of Blue Bell after a listeria contamination was found in their ice cream during a spot check by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Its lab discovered listeria in a sample that was obtained from Whole Foods in Lincoln.  Jeni's response was quick and all encompassing with John Lowe releasing a statement on the company's website detailing the recall. All products bearing the Jeni's name were recalled including ice cream, frozen yogurts, ice cream sandwiches and sorbets.  In addition, some of its retail locations were also shutting down temporarily.

"We will not reopen the kitchen until we can ensure the safety of our customers," Lowe said in the statement. Lowe said that the company was working with its suppliers to determine the source of the listeria contamination in an effort to discover if one of the ingredients Jeni's uses is responsible for the contamination.

Blue Bell kept its operations open until yesterday, although only for testing purposes as it does not plan to sell any of the products manufactured since the recall to the public.  Blue Bell's plants in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama will be closed next week and possibly into the next week as well.

With two ice cream makers issuing recalls, could the two be related?  It is a valid question to ask but so far the FDA has weighed in saying there is currently no evidence to support a link between the two recalls.

"At this time, the FDA does not believe that the finding of listeria in one sample of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is related to the outbreak and recall associated with Blue Bell Ice Cream," said Food and Drug Administration spokesman Jeff Ventura. "We are continuing to investigate both situations and will provide updated information to consumers as we learn more."

What makes this contamination of listeria interesting is that listeria cannot grow in freezing temperatures, meaning it is rarely found in ice cream products.

The investigations of the contamination will reveal a lot about the industry and could even lead to possible changes in how ice cream is prepared and packaged in the future.

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