April 27, 2015 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say ice cream is still safe to eat, despite recalls by two ice cream companies that discovered Listeria in their products.
This month, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries recalled all of their products. At least 10 people were infected with Listeria, including three who died, in four states. The outbreak began in 2010 and has mostly infected hospitalized patients who ate Blue Bell ice cream in milkshakes.
Last week, Ohio-based Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream recalled all of their products. No illnesses have been linked to the recall.
Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC told the Associated Press:
“Based upon what we know now, there is no connection between these two ice cream companies nor any reason to suspect that ice cream as a whole poses any special foodborne disease risk.”
A spokesman for the FDA said:
“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.”
Ice cream is an unusual source of food poisoning. In Ohio, health officials only recently began testing ice cream products for Listeria contamination.
Listeria grows under refrigeration temperatures, but not in frozen foods. While Listeria can be transmitted in milk by infected cows, Blue Bell does not believe milk was the source of the outbreak because they only use pasteurized milk. It is possible that ingredients mixed into the ice cream were contaminated, but no one knows.
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