Columbus, Ohio-based ice cream manufacturer Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has stopped production for the second time since April due to listeria contamination. This shutdown comes on the heels of Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries shutdown in April after 3 deaths were related to listeria-contaminated products.

In both cases, the source of listeria contamination is unknown. However, significant health risks are posed when contamination is detected, and plants must shut down for a thorough cleaning. A new report from CNBC suggests that Blue Bell Creameries was aware of listeria contamination at its plants as far back as 2013, but failed to act.

A report from the Food and Drug Administration on Blue Bell Creameries stated, “You failed to demonstrate your cleaning and sanitizing program is effective in controlling recurring microbiological contaminations.” In response to investigations, the company has recalled all of their products.

The dangers of listeria contamination

Whatever the case, contamination always involves a form of negligence; whether from unsafe sanitation procedures or poor hygiene procedures for workers. Listeria contamination should always be taken seriously. If you have consumed Blue Bell or Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream products recently, you should be aware of the following signs and symptoms of infection by listeria monocytogenes:

  • Diarrhea or gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Convulsions

If you or someone you know has experienced any of these symptoms after consuming ice cream from the affected manufacturers, you should seek professional medical attention immediately. Left untreated, listeriosis can result in death, particularly in the immune compromised and older adults. Symptoms can take up to two months to fully develop, which can make diagnosis difficult.

When manufacturers don’t practice due diligence or fail to act in response to a known issue, they put everyone at risk, whether from direct contamination or the time and energy required to care for an ailing loved one. Please contact the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, with offices in Nashville, Knoxville and Gallatin, if you have questions.