December 3, 2016

Jeni’s Ice Cream: You Fight Listeria By Constantly Searching For It

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream has posted on its website a response to an FDA warning letter made public this week.  The letter states environmental samples taken near food and food contact surfaces during an inspection in January and February of this year were positive for Listeria.[/caption] The inspection was part of a follow-up process after a Listeria recall  in 2015.  Jeni's issued a recall for all of its products and temporarily ceased production in April 2015 after the Nebraska Department of Agriculture found Listeria in ice cream it tested as part of a routine product sampling program. No illnesses were reported in connection with the ice cream. "We received a Warning Letter from the FDA following their January inspection of our facility. We are happy to get to the next stage … [Read more...]

Largest Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreaks 2015: #10, Blue Bell

The 10th largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2015 was the Blue Bell ice cream Listeria outbreak. The outbreak, linked to the nation’s third-largest ice cream maker, sickened at least 10 people from four states. Three of them died. Health officials used DNA tests to identify cases as far back as 2010 that were part of the outbreak. Confirmed cases were identified in Arizona (1), Kansas (5), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (3). The three fatalities were in Kansas where all five patients were hospital patients who ate ice cream or milkshakes made from a Blue Bell single-serving product called Scoops. After the Kansas patients were identified, the hospital was told to hold all Bell Bell products in quarantine. Testing on these products found Listeria in single serving chocolate ice … [Read more...]

Jeni’s Traces Listeria Problem to One Ice Cream Machine

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream has traced the source of Listeria problems at its Columbus, Ohio manufacturing facility to one machine used to fill pints, according to the latest update on the company's website. On April 23, the company recalled all of its ice cream after a sample tested positive for Listeria. The machine was not used to fill buckets for the company's ice cream shops, but all the ice cream made prior to the discovery of Listeria will still be destroyed, said CEO John Lowe in the update. "We’ll never be 100% certain how Listeria got onto the machine. Our job now is to rework our production kitchen into a facility that provides the best defenses against any contamination, and we have enlisted some of the world’s top food safety experts to help in that effort," said Lowe, in … [Read more...]

Jeni’s Up-Front About $2.5 Million Listeria Recall

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is keeping cutomers informed and employees partially compensated as it grapples with a $2.5 million Listeria recall. After Listeria was found in a pint of dark chocolate ice cream last week, The company's CEO John Lowe has been posting updates on the company's website. At the time of the recall, no illnesses had been reported in association with the products, but the recall comes at a time when ice cream made by another company, Blue Bell, has. In mid-March, After Listeria in its ice cream was linked to illnesses and deaths, Blue Bell recalled some of its ice cream and then expanded the recall, twice. Jeni's recalled all of its ice cream and stopped making more after one pint tested positive for Listeria. Lowe says no one should be eating any flavor of … [Read more...]

After Listeria Recall, Jeni’s Ice Cream CEO Gives Update

After the April 23 recall of all of its products for possible Listeria contamination, Jeni's Splendid Ice cream has posted an update from its CEO, John Lowe, on its website. At this time, no illnesses have been associated with Jeni's products. The company set up a  communications center at its home office that will be taking calls through the evenings over the weekend and during normal business hours starting Monday. The center is staffed by Jeni’s employees who normally work in sales, marketing, finance and operations. By Friday afternoon,  they'd handled 600 calls and emails. The company is trying to find the source of the problem and fix it by working with "more than 10 top scientists—from sanitation experts to dairy processing experts. We are working with third party labs in … [Read more...]

Scientists Scrutinize DNA In Blue Bell Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak

Listeria surveillance in the deadly Blue Bell ice cream food poisoning outbreak has advanced to include Whole Genome Sequencing, a tool for examining the DNA code of human pathogens that is second to none in accuracy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Whole Genome Sequencing, or WGS, of the Listeria monocytogenes isolates obtained from Blue Bell ice cream by Texas health officials was set in progress earlier this month. Kansas Blue Bell lawsuits on behalf of  victims seeking compensation for their illnesses undoubtedly will incorporate the results, as will state and federal epidemiologists who are trying to get an accurate picture of how many people outside Kansas were infected. As explained in a CDC You Tube video, WGS provides the most detailed look … [Read more...]

People From Five Kansas Counties Hit With Listeria in Past Year

Residents from five Kansas counties have been hit with Listeria since January 2014, including five Kansans believed to be sickened by contaminated Blue Bell ice cream served at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. The statistics from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment don't reveal names or hometowns of those who became ill, nor would the agency say which of the six listeriosis patients from the five counties are considered victims of the Blue Bell/Via Christi outbreak. Of the six Kansas listeriosis patients, two are from Sedgwick County, which is dominated by the Wichita area. One each is from Harvey (county seat is Newton, Kansas); Wyandotte (county seat is Kansas City); Shawnee (county seat is Topeka, Kansas) and Ford (county seat is Dodge City, Kansas.) The five … [Read more...]

Listeria Outbreak Prompts Kroger to Pull Blue Bell Products

Kroger has pulled recalled Blue Bell products from its stores after they were linked to a Listeria outbreak that sickened five people at Via Christi  hospital in Wichita. The company is also using its recall notification system to warn customers of the problem. Between January 2014 and January 2015, five patients at Via Christi contracted listeriosis from contaminated Blue Bell ice cream they were served while hospitalized for unrelated illnesses.  Although the first case occurred during January 2014, the outbreak was not discovered until this month when health officials noticed that two people sickened with the rare outbreak strain had both been Via Christi patients. Lab tests have shown that the rare Listeria strains cultured from the five patients at Via Christi are a match to … [Read more...]

Two Ice Cream Listeria Outbreaks in Three Months

In the last three months, there have been two Listeria outbreaks linked to ice cream: the Blue Bell Listeria outbreak at Via Christi hospital in Wichita and the Snoqualmie ice cream outbreak in Seattle. The Blue Bell outbreak took place over a 12-month period starting in January 2014, but was only discovered recently. Five people hospitalized at Via Christi for unrelated illnesses during 2014  all contracted Listeria infections from Blue Bell ice cream they were served. Three people died. Blue Bell withdrew products from the market and ceased production on the line associated with the problem. However, public health officials urge consumers to check their freezers for products potentially contaminated with Listeria. They include: Chocolate Chip Country Cookie SKU # 196, Great Divide Bar … [Read more...]

After Listeria Outbreak, Publix, Walmart Pull Blue Bell Ice Cream From Stores

Publix and Walmart have pulled Blue Bell ice cream products from their stores after some of them were linked to a Listeria outbreak that sickened five people at a Wichita hospital, killing three of them. From January 2014 to January 2015, five patients at Via Christi hospital contracted listeriosis from contaminated Blue Bell ice cream they were served while hospitalized for unrelated illnesses.  Although the first case occurred during January 2014, the outbreak was not discovered until this month when health officials noticed that two people sickened with a rare strain of Listeria monocytogenes had both been hospitalized at Via Christi. Cultures from the five patients revealed four rare strains of Listeria, three of which were also found in samples of Blue Bell ice cream made at the … [Read more...]

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