Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream back on shelves after listeria scare

By Hal Conick

- Last updated on GMT

Jeni's ice cream is back after manufacturing problems with listeria.
Jeni's ice cream is back after manufacturing problems with listeria.

Related tags Ice cream Milk

After a late April inspection from the FDA took Columbus-based Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream off the shelves, the company confirmed that they are now back in stores across the country.

As of Monday, Nov. 2, the company said its online store will also be up and running once again.

Michele Holmes, a gift concierge with Jeni’s, told DairyReporter that the company is back in scoop shops and is once again available to most wholesales across the country. Consumers and wholesalers alike can check the company’s “Pint Finder” to see if the ice cream is available in their area currently.

Jeni's opened in 2002 and has been steadily growing in distribution across the US. The company has 21 scoop shops across the country.

Improving the process

After losing more than 500,000 pounds, or 265 tons​, of ice cream and $2.5m via the recall, the company said in a blog post that it had fixed every issue the FDA was looking at by May of this year. It said that there is a “significantly more trained team” ​working with new rules. The original recall came from a pint of Dark Chocolate Jeni's ice cream. 

“We’ve updated our testing measures through every level,”​ Holmes said.

CEO John Lowe said in a blog post from the time of the recall that they aren’t certain how listeria got into the machine, but there were no reports of sick customers.

“Our job now is to rework our production kitchen into a facility that provides the best defenses against any contamination, and we have enlisted some of the world’s top food safety experts to help in that effort,”​ he wrote.

Listeria can lead to listeriosis, which the US Centers for Disease Control said is caused by contaminated food and can include symptoms such as headaches, stiff neck, confusion, convulsions and loss of balance. In pregnant women, the disease can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or life-threatening infections of the newborn child.

Other developments

In addition to changes in the manufacturing process for better safety, Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s, wrote in an Oct. 8 blog post​ that the company will switch from plastic pints to pints made from recyclable paper.

“Currently, paper pints offer the most versatility in design and production,”​ she wrote. “And they can be printed with considerably lower minimum orders than plastic pints, which is important at a time when we’re working hard to maintain our flexibility and agility.”

The paper pints will give the company more agility to change designs for seasonal flavors with efficiency. 

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