Listeria found again in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams facility

Posted at 9:06 AM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 09:24:23-04

A warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration was sent to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams earlier in August after Listeria was found again in the company's facility.

According to the letter from the FDA, Jeni's facility, located on Michigan Avenue in Columbus, was inspected between Jan. 25 and Feb. 9. During the inspection, the FDA collected environmental samples from various areas within the facility. The samples found Listeria monocytogenes, a human pathogen, in the building. 

The FDA also mentioned violations of good manufacturing practices relating to manufacturing, packaging and handling of food to make sure it would not become contaminated. The FDA concluded that Jeni's frozen products were put together in unsanitary conditions. 

Listeria was found in samples tested on the floor of the prep room and on the floor of the wash room. 

Read the full warning letter from the FDA here.

What happened in April 2015?

This was not the first time Listeria was located in the Jeni's facility. It was also found in 20 locations during an inspection in April 2015, after Listeria was found in an ice cream sample. 

The FDA did acknowledge in a letter that after Listeria was found in the facility in April, Jeni's did take steps to correct the health issue by hiring a sanitation consultant and voluntarily shutting down production to deep clean and sanitize the facility. 

A response from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

In a joint blog post by Jeni's Quality and New Product Leader Mary Kamm, CEO John Lowe and Founder Jeni Britton Bauer, they suggested that Listeria can be found in several food production companies' facilities. 

"When food production companies look hard enough, often enough, they will find Listeria in their food production facilities. Listeria is so widespread in the natural world, it will inevitably find its way into otherwise clean environments," the blog post read.

The group said in the last year, Jeni's has performed more than 2,000 environmental swabs in a constant search to detect Listeria. In that year, according to Jeni's, Listeria was not detected on a food contact surface or in the immediate area around food contact surfaces.

The post continued to say the result of the facility's sanitation and other food safety procedures helps Jeni's to "assure everyone that the food we produce is absolutely 100% safe."

What's next?

The FDA noted in its letter to Jeni's Ice Creams that the company had 15 days from Aug. 9 to respond with an outline of the steps that would be taken to correct the issues.