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Cookie dough recall for Listeria ripples through food chain

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 22:41
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(Before It's News)

At least four companies have issued ice cream recalls — Blue Bunny, Blue Bell, Chocolate Shoppe and Publix — because of a cookie dough recall that could cause dozens of secondary recalls from as yet unnamed companies.

It’s the second time in less than a month that Blue Bell Creameries has recalled ice cream because of potentially contaminated cookie dough from Aspen Hills Inc. of Garner, IA. The iconic Brenham, TX-based Blue Bell discovered Listeria monocytogenes during product testing at one of its production plants in September, resulting in the recall of two flavors across several states.

Aspen Hills recalled some cookie dough at that time and launched an in-house investigation. Although the cookie dough producer did not find Listeria in its products or plant, according to a statement issued Tuesday, it did discover food safety “issues,” which spurred company officials to issue a recall Sunday.

The cookie dough recall notice was not made public, though, going only to the 27 food manufacturing companies that had received Aspen Hills dough produced from July 15 through Sept. 30. All ice cream produced by Aspen Hills during that period is being recalled.

A spokesman for Aspen Hills said Tuesday that none of the 22,000 cases of cookie dough produced during that time frame and now under recall were sold to fund-raising entities. Only commercial food manufacturers received the recalled dough and Aspen Hills will not identify its customers.

“… our lab results for all of our products are negative for (Listeria monocytogenes) and we have no reports of any illness attributable to this product — but we are acting out of an abundance of caution because a thorough review of our manufacturing environment has revealed instances where we may not have met our food safety standards,” Aspen Hills owners said in a prepared statement.

“Some of the issues that were identified included inadequate documentation of protocol, failure to wear proper uniforms and the possibility of cross-contamination. Other issues involved the failure of our personnel to consistently follow our standard operating procedures.”

No illnesses have been reported in connection to the recalled ice cream, but symptoms of Listeria infection can take up to 70 days to develop. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled ice cream and develops symptoms of listeriosis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Listeria.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Monday Blue Bell officials recalled additional flavors of their ice cream, with Blue Bunny, Chocolate Shoppe and the Publix grocery chain soon following. All four companies urged consumers to check their homes for the recalled ice cream and either dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase.

The specific varieties and identifying package markings of the recalled ice cream are:

Blue Bell recall — A company spokesperson declined to provide the recall notice Blue Bell received from Aspen Hills, but said “we have suspended all ingredient orders from Aspen Hills indefinitely.” For more information, consumers with questions may call 979-836-7977.

Two Blue Bell flavors in half gallon and pint containers sold to retailers are under recall: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookie Two Step. Three Blue Bell flavors in 3-gallon containers sold to food service customers are under recall: Blue Monster, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Krazy Kookie Dough. All of the Blue Bell recalled ice cream was produced from Feb. 2 through Sept. 7.

Both the consumer/retail and food service products produced with the cookie dough pieces were distributed by Blue Bell to the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Blue Bunny recallOnly one seasonal flavor of Blue Bunny ice cream is implicated in the recall, Hoppin’ Holidoodle, which is made with snickerdoodle cookie dough from Aspen Hills. It was distributed in six states: Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona and Texas.

The recalled, 46-ounce containers of Blue Bunny Hoppin’ Holidoodle can be identified by UPC and lot numbers as well as best-by dates. The codes to look for are:

  • UPC number 070640014644, LOT 60001 MM 19115 6228, BEST IF USED BY 02/13/18
  • UPC 070640014651, LOT 60001 MM 19115 6229, BEST IF USED BY 02/14/18

Anyone with questions about the Blue Bunny ice cream recall should telephone Wells Enterprises, Inc. consumer affairs at 1-800-331-0830.

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company Inc. recall —  This Madison, WI, company recalled two brands or ice cream in a total of five flavors in various sizes from 25 states Tuesday evening.

Unlike the other recalling companies, Chocolate Shoppe included the amount of its ice cream. It is recalling 4,183 3-gallon cartons and 5,296 pints. The company distributed its Baked Bear brand and Chocolate Shoppe brand products to ice cream shops around the country, via online outlets and to limited grocery stores.

The Chocolate Shoppe recalled products were distributed to Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Consumers may contact the company at 800-466-8043 or via email at info@chocolateshoppeicecream.com. Recalled ice cream flavors from the Chocolate Shoppe can be identified by the following label information.

Chocolate Shoppe branded 3-gallon cartons of:

  • Cookie Dough 12/29/17, 12/19/17, 12/13/17, 12/6/17, 11/26/17 & 11/15/17
  • Heaps of Love 12/29/17, 11/24/17 & 11/8/17
  • Peanut Butter Cookie Dough 12/1/17 & 11/18/17
  • Sticks & Stones 12/27/17, 12/2/17 & 11/10/17
  • Yippee Skippee 12/1/17

Chocolate Shoppe branded pints cartons of:

  • Cookie Dough 12/13/17, 12/9/17 & 11/26/17

Baked Bear branded 3-gallon cartons of:

  • Cookie Dough 12/6/17, 11/26/17 & 11/15/17

Publix recall —  Only one flavor of Publix branded ice cream is implicated in the recall, Publix Premium Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.

The recalled ice cream was sold at Publix stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina. It can be identified by the UPC number of 000-41415-03843 and a sell by date of May 27 2017, which is printed on the bottom of the half-gallon containers.

Publix customers with questions can call the company at 800-242-1227.

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