Listeria discovered in Jeni's production facility
In a warning lettersent to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams CEO John Lowe on Aug. 9, the FDA informed the beloved and nationally renowned Columbus company that it found listeria in two of the 75 swabs taken at the Jeni's Michigan Avenue facility during an inspection process in January and February of this year. While both positive samples were taken from the floor, not from actual Jeni's products, it's a tough blow after the company shut down operations twice last year after listeria was found in two pints of ice cream and in Jeni's kitchen. (Read Alive's story about the company's post-recall rebound.)
The Dispatch reports that while the Michigan Avenue facility is no longer used to make ice cream, it is still used to process ingredients for the sweet treats.
According to the FDA, consuming food contaminated with listeria "can lead to a severe, sometimes life-threatening illness called listeriosis, a foodborne illness, which is a major public health concern, due to the severity of the disease, its high case-fatality rate, long incubation time, and tendency to affect individuals with underlying conditions."
UPDATE: Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni's Quality Leader Mary Kamm and Lowe posted a joint blog addressing the FDA letter, which reads, in part, "As a result of our sanitation and other food safety procedures, our environmental testing program and our test-and-hold procedures, we can assure everyone that the food we produce is absolutely 100% safe.Beyond that, we want to clarify that the periodic detection of Listeria on non-food contact surfaces is not in any way abnormal in the industry or indicative of an 'outbreak' of Listeria." Read the full letter here.