After addressing food safety violations that likely contributed to a Listeria recall, Jeni’s ice cream shops reopen tonight. On April 23, the company issued a voluntary recall of all of its products after Listeria was found in a pint of dark chocolate ice cream in mid-April.
No illnesses had been associated with Jeni’s products, but the company issued the recall and stopped production while it tried to isolate the source of the problem and correct it.
In response to a Freedom of Information request by the Associated Press, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday released its report from its April 30 inspection of the company’s manufacturing facility in Columbus. The kicthen lacked proper space and food safety controls and some employees did not follow food safety measures, according to the report.
“By May 11, 2015, we had fixed every issue identified in the report. This 2015 inspection came after the finding of Listeria, and the FDA, like us, are looking with a more critical eye at the way we operated,” said Jeni’s CEO, John Lowe, in a statement on the company’s website.
“In addition to fixing every issue identified by the FDA, we have been working with them throughout this entire process, including having provided a thorough response letter detailing how we have fixed each and every concern identified in their inspection report. We dove in and made darn sure we fixed all of their concerns, and we brought in outside experts to help us find other areas of improvement to create a world class, safe environment for making our ice creams. Beyond that, we have instituted test and hold procedures to ensure we are only providing safe ice cream.”
Lowe said the FDA had also inspected Jeni’s production facility in 2013 and 2014. Those reports were not released but the 2014 inspection “revealed zero issues of concern” and only one concern – build up of ice under a fan in the large freezer, was identified in the 2013 report, Lowe said.
In 2008, the FDA issued three findings of our former production kitchen. It included that there were rodent droppings behind an oven and in a garage where some sealed ingredients were stored. Those findings were addressed before that report was ever issued.