Time to check your ice cream for listeria

Allison Robicelli
·2 min read

We’ve written about plenty of listeria-related product recalls before, because that potentially fatal bacterium is relentless. It has made its way into queso fresco, deli meats, sushi, fruit... it’s even gotten near our beloved pets. And it’s no stranger to our ice cream. From 2010-2015, Blue Bell products were the source of a listeria outbreak linked to multiple deaths, leading to charges by the U.S. Department of Justice. (The company pled guilty, paid a $19.35 million fine, and continues to produce ice cream.) And now, another recall is under way due to listeria concerns.

Yesterday, Ohio-based Velvet Ice Cream announced a voluntarily recall of all its ice cream and sherbet products made on or after March 24, 2021. The company said the recall is being enacted out of an abundance of caution; during routine testing, Velvet discovered products manufactured in this window of time could have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, but did not specify if bacteria had been found in samples.

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“The products were distributed to Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia through various drug stores, convenience stores and supermarkets,” notes the company announcement. “They are packaged in various sizes and containers.”

So far no illnesses or injuries have been reported, but to be safe, you should check to see if there’s anything in your freezer on this product list. Listeria can be very serious business; in most healthy people it can cause short-term symptoms like fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It can cause serious and potentially fatal infections in young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised, as well as increasing the risk of miscarriages and stillbirth in pregnant women.

Velvet Ice Cream notes that if you find one of the recalled products in your freezer, you can bring it back to the store you purchased it from to receive a full refund. The company also said that any customers with questions should call 800-589-5000 x237 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, or fill out this form.