Now that the weather is getting warmer and spring is hitting Chicago, it’s about that time of year for a warm-weather favorite treat: ice cream. Soon lines will start forming on hot summer nights at neighborhood ice joint favorites. Ice cream trucks will start driving through town with their catchy jingles to alert you of their delicious treats for sale. Unfortunately a recent recall draws attention to potential food poisoning risks associated with one popular store bought ice cream brand.
According to a recent article by the New York Post. Blue Bell Creameries has issued an all-product recall for potential listeria contamination. They issued this recall after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, which is a potentially deadly bacteria. The recall includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks. The recall affects 23 states and international locations, including Illinois. The illness was eventually tracked to two different company locations in two different states.
The article elaborates about a rather unsettling fact: the company cannot even say how the bacteria was introduced into the facilities. This begs the question about quality of the safety regulations and oversight within the company and its production area. The most recent contamination was discovered only after a testing program was initiated by the company after the first recall. It is interesting to ponder why this testing was not already in place. Last month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked the contaminated ice cream to three deaths and five illnesses occurring in more than one state. This is a serious and widespread case of foodborne illness. However, this is the first recall in the company’s 108 years of operation. Blue Bell is now implementing a new process to test all of its products before releasing them to the market. However, under product liability law, it is already the legal duty of companies and manufacturers to inspect their products to discover dangers.
Listeria is an extremely dangerous foodborne illness to contract. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeria primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, even those not in the highest risk categories can be affected and are not safe from listeria. When a person is infected with listeriosis, also according to the CDC, they often have fever and muscle aches, which may be preceded by diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. It is in invasive infection, meaning that it will spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract. The risk is reduced through safe food preparation, consumption, and storage.
Our attorneys urge all ice-cream lovers to not take a chance. Clean out your freezers and toss these products or any other products that may have become cross-contaminated by this bacteria. This is no illness to take lightly, just as the legal responsibility to provide safe food is nothing that companies should take lightly either. People deserve to be safe from harm, especially in the foods we eat.