May 7, 2015 — Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has found a “smoking gun” in their search for the source of Listeria that led the company to recall all of their ice cream last month.
No illnesses were linked to the recall.
In an update posted yesterday, the CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams said:
“Our swab testing found Listeria on the spout of one of our production machines. It is a machine we use to fill a portion of our pints. The machine was not used to fill buckets that we scoop from in our shops, but we are nonetheless continuing with our plan to dispose of all of those buckets.”
The company said they will never be sure how Listeria got into the pint-filling machine. The contamination led the company to close ice cream shops in six states and destroy 265 tones of ice cream worth more than $2.5 million.
Jeni’s has planned at least a $200,000 “transformation of our kitchen” and will implement a number of steps to improve food safety, including regular swab testing for Listeria.
Those changes include a new layout in the production kitchen, removing walls and adding cooler space, adding color-coded hygienic zones to limit the potential for cross-contamination, antibacterial spray across footpaths, and more.
Another significant change is that all fresh fruits and vegetables will be processed at a separate location.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. It has also been known to cause miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women. Healthy adults typically experience high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
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