FDA: Ice Cream Recall Due To Listeria Outbreak Affects 19 States And DC

Food & Drink

Listeria monocytogenes in ice cream doesn’t make for very nice cream. In fact, it can make for some really horrible cream. That’s why the Real Kosher Ice Cream company on August 9 declared a recall of all six flavors of its Soft Serve on the Go eight ounce ice cream and sorbet cups. So far, two people have gotten sick and hospitalized in New York and Pennsylvania from a Listeria outbreak that may be linked to these products, according to an August 10 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement. But the recall is not limited to these two states. Rather, it’s nationwide, spanning 19 different states and the District of Columbia. Therefore, if you did purchase one of these Soft Serve on the Go Cups from anywhere, don’t eat it—either the cup or the ice cream. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the go to the bathroom multiple, multiple times and perhaps even to the hospital.

So, before you partake in that creamy chilled goodness known as ice cream, get the scoop on what specific brand you are consuming. Check whether your ice cream product is any of the six different cups on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of products encompassed by the recall:

  • Soft Serve On The Go Vanilla Chocolate
  • Soft Serve On The Go Razzle
  • Soft Serve On The Go Caramel
  • Soft Serve On The Go Parve Vanilla Chocolate
  • Soft Serve On The Go Sorbet Strawberry Mango
  • Soft Serve On The Go Lite Peanut Butter

If you do find a match, put down your cup of ice cream and say, “You shall not pass.” Wrap the ice cream so that it cannot contaminate anything else and return it for a refund.

This recall of the Soft Serve stuff is certainly not based on soft evidence. The two people who got sick both reported eating Soft Serve On The Go vanilla chocolate ice cream before falling ill. Plus, when the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture tested a previously unopened sample of Soft Serve On The Go from one of these people’s homes, take a wild guess as to what they found. Yes, that punky bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. Now, they haven’t yet determined whether the Listeria found in this ice cream sample was exactly the same strain as the bacteria causing the outbreak. They’ll have to wait until the results of whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis of the bacteria are back to confirm this. But so far the evidence seems to scream for this ice cream recall.

If you had to choose a bacteria to find in your ice cream, Listeria certainly wouldn’t be one of them. Over the past few years, this diarrhea-causing bacteria has caused a poop-load of different outbreaks. As I’ve described for Forbes previously, these pathogens typically cause abdominal pain, and nausea in addition to diarrhea with symptoms tending to emerge a few hours to three days after you’ve put contaminated food down your pie hole.

The even bigger concern is when the bacteria causes more than gastrointestinal commotion and goes from your gut into your bloodstream and potentially spreads to your central nervous system. This would be considered invasive listeriosis and is more common among those with weaker immune systems such as very young children, adults over 65 years of age, and those with chronic medical conditions. When you’ve got invasive listeriosis headaches, a stiff neck, confusion, a loss of balance, and convulsions may result. Oh and the chances of your dying go way up to 10% to 20%.

There’s additional risk if your pregnant too, as if pregnancy weren’t hard enough. Listeria infections lead to miscarriages, premature deliveries, stillbirths, and infections in the newborn. That’s why if you are pregnant doctors will tell you to avoid food like soft cheeses, refrigerated pates, meat spreads, smoked seafood, animal feces, decaying vegetation, and anything else that may be carrying Listeria monocytogenes. They aren’t just trying to make things even less fun for you.

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