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Listeria Found at Jeni’s Production Facility – Statement Released

Update: Jeni’s Releases Statement On Third Listeria Discovery

In a report released on 8/22/16 – the Department of Health & Human Services found Listeria at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream between the dates of January 25, 2016 through February 9, 2016.

Jeni's_Splendid_Ice_Cream_provided_by_our_resident_dairy_queen_@hilaryahartman._(14617784337)

The Department of Health acknowledges in the report the changes in Jeni’s has made to their production of ice cream, as Jeni’s no longer manufactures finished ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet in their production facility. Instead, they create frozen flavor bases and ship those bases to co-manufacturers for use in the production of their firm’s ice cream and frozen yogurt.

Positive samples of Listeria were taken from these locations according to the report.

  • The floor of the prep room adjacent to the open entryway to the dish room and approximately 9 feet from the prep table where your firm was processing and packaging Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Base.
  • The floor of the wash room around a drain, which is approximately 2 feet from the three-compartment sink used to wash, rinse, and sanitize equipment parts, utensils, and containers used in production, approximately 3 feet from the shelving unit on which the above items were stored after cleaning, and approximately 3 feet from the(b)(4) used to wash equipment parts used in production.

Along with the Listeria, Jeni’s also had a few other violations in their facility:

  • Your firm failed to operate fans and other air-blowing equipment in a manner that minimizes the potential for contaminating food-contact surfaces, as required by 21 CFR Part 110.20(b)(6).  Specifically, during the manufacture of Buttermilk Yogurt Base, Brambleberry Crisp Base, and Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Base, our investigator observed a dust-like material adhering to the guard over the fan on the west end of the underside of the ceiling-mounted cooling unit located in the dish room, where containers, equipment parts, and utensils used in production are washed, rinsed, sanitized, and stored. This is a repeat observation from our April 2015 inspection  where heavy accumulation of apparent dust and dirt was observed adhering to the guards over the two fans on the evaporator unit located in the dish room where tubs, equipment parts, and utensils used in production were washed, rinsed, sanitized, and stored.
  • Your firm failed to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source, as required by 21 CFR Part 110.80. Specifically, our investigator observed an employee in the prep room placing  “skinned” bags of sugar on a cart in the prep room, then moving these bags beside a prep table where they were picked up and manually poured from the bags into clear plastic containers such that the outside of the sugar bags came into direct contact with the inner food contact surface of the plastic containers. This is a repeat observation from our April 2015 inspection, where a bag of cocoa powder was observed being handled by an employee in a similar manner.

The FDA said these findings from January demonstrate that “sanitation procedures have historically been inadequate to control, reduce, or eliminate this pathogenic organism from (the Jeni’s) facility.”

“Listeria is so widespread in the natural world, it will inevitably find its way into otherwise clean environments,” said Mary Kamm, Jeni’s quality leader to The Wall Street Journal.

Does this excuse three separate Listeria incidents? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo by Arnold Gatilao via Wikimedia Commons

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