Jeni’s Recalls Its Ice Cream After Blue Bell Listeria Scare

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams followed Blue Bell Creameries Inc. in recalling all its products after the Nebraska Department of Agriculture detected listeria in a randomly collected sample.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company, which touts its fair-trade ingredients and milk from grass-fed cows, said it’s also closing all of its scoop shops until Jeni’s can be sure that its products are safe again.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we made the swift decision to cease all ice cream production and sales until we can get to the very root of the problem,” founder Jeni Britton Bauer said on the company’s website. “We are enlisting the help of experts so we can identify the cause, eliminate it, and return as quickly as possible to the business of making ice cream.”

Jeni’s said it wasn’t aware of anyone failing ill from the now-recalled products, but listeria has become an increasing concern for food companies in recent months. Three people died after eating tainted Blue Bell ice cream at a Kansas hospital, and seven others from Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blue Bell called back all of its products earlier this week, expanding a more limited recall.

Miscarriage Risk

The disease primarily affects older people, pregnant women, newborns or adults with weakened immune systems, according to the CDC. Symptoms include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Infection can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant women, the CDC said.

The ice-cream companies aren’t the only ones recalling products over listeria fears. Sabra Dipping Co. said this month it would call back 30,000 cases of hummus after a sample tested positive for the bacteria in Michigan. In that case, there were no immediate reports of illness.

Jeni’s has ice-cream shops in a handful of cities around the U.S., including Chicago, Cleveland and Los Angeles. Jeni’s, started in 2002, uses local produce to make its ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt in flavors such as Brambleberry Crisp, Goat Cheese with Red Cherries and Riesling Poached Pear. Jeni’s products also are sold in Whole Foods Market, Mariano’s, Gelson’s and Target retail stores.