The ice cream products may mistakably contain tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts) that aren’t declared on the ingredient or allergy information lists.
Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, has voluntarily recalled limited quantities of two Ben & Jerry's flavors. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the recall was prompted because B&J’s Chunky Monkey pints and Coconut 7-Layer Bars could inadvertently contain tree nuts, such as hazelnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts. The tree nuts are not listed on the ingredient or allergen list for both products.
The two affected products do include a “Contains Walnuts” and a “May contain other tree nuts” label on the back of the pack. However, those with an allergy or severe sensitivity to these undeclared tree nuts run the risk of a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction if they eat the recalled ice cream products.
The recalled Ben & Jerry’s Coconut Seven Layer Bar bulk product is sold in a tub containing 2.4 gallons with a Consumer UPC of 076840104246 and best by date of SEP1520BJ4. The affected Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey pint is sold in a pint tub with a Consumer UPC of 076840100354 and best by dates of AUG2820BH2, AUG2920BH2, or AUG3020BH2.
The recalled ice cream was made in the U.S. The Chunky Monkey pints were distributed nationwide to retail stores; the affected Coconut 7-Layer Bar bulk ice cream was distributed nationwide as well, through wholesale and Ben & Jerry’s parlors.
The FDA notes that no other container sizes or best by dates of Ben & Jerry’s products – besides these specific lots of Coconut Seven Layer Bar bulk and Chunky Monkey pints – are affected by this voluntary recall, including other Pint Slices, pints, snackable cookie dough, or any other products served in Ben & Jerry's franchised Scoop Shops.
Unilever hasn't actually received any reports of illness associated with the ice cream, but the recall comes "out of an abundance of caution." According to their statement, "Unilever's ongoing investigation shows that the issue stemmed from an error from one of its nut suppliers. The situation has been remediated."
The FDA recommends that consumers who have purchased containers of the affected products and UPC/date codes immediately discontinue use, retain the outer container, and call 833-236-1237 for further information.