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Jeni’s Addresses Old Listeria Concerns, No Problems with Ice Cream Found

Walker Evans Walker Evans Jeni’s Addresses Old Listeria Concerns, No Problems with Ice Cream FoundPhoto via Jeni's.
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Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal published a story about a new listeria warning issued by the FDA and multiple local media outlets immediately picked up the story and ran with it. But before anyone jumps to any conclusions that every pint is a contaminated mess, it should be noted that the FDA’s report came from back January and only found listeria when swabbing the floor of their production facility.

A post jointly authored by Jeni’s CEO John Lowe, Jeni’s Quality Leader Mary Kamm, and Jeni Britton Bauer herself on the company’s blog provides some additional context from the company’s perspective:

We received a Warning Letter from the FDA following their January inspection of our facility. We are happy to get to the next stage with the FDA, and we appreciate that the FDA went to the unusual step of noting in the letter the significant work and changes we made since we first learned of a Listeria issue back in April 2015. We have seen some initial news coverage of the letter, and thought it would help to put it in context.

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. To control Listeria, the best food production companies are constantly searching for it through environmental swabbing and then eradicating it—before it has the chance to spread to any food contact surfaces. That is how a good Listeria control program works; that is how ours is working.

In the last year we have performed more than 2,000 environmental swabs in our constant search to detect Listeria. In that year, Listeria has never been detected on a food contact surface, or in Zone 2 (the immediate area around food contact surfaces). We have detected Listeria on the floor between our dish cleaning room and preparation area in the last year as noted in the letter, and immediately took corrective/preventive actions and followed our protocols to do what a strong environmental program does: prevent its spread to Zone 2 or food contact surfaces. Our program and protocols have done exactly what they are supposed to do.

Read the full update from Jeni’s at www.jenis.com/blog/.

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