Nearly 400 cases of ice cream have been recalled by federal safety officials due to the risk of listeria food poisoning, a serious and sometimes fatal foodborne infection.
An Agave Dream Cappuccino ice cream recall was announced by the FDA on July 19, after routine testing by Washington health officials identified the presence of listeria. To date no illnesses have been reported.
The recall includes an estimated 389 cases of Agave Dream Cappuccino ice cream pints with UPC code 899349002048. The recalled pints were sold in a brown paper pint sized container and have the brand name “Agave Dream” printed on the front of the carton with a “Best By” date of July 4, 2017 displayed as “07/04/17”.
According to the FDA release, no illnesses have been reported and the manufacturer has ceased the production and distribution of the products pending an investigation to discover the source of the contamination.
Listerosis is a foodborne illness that can cause serious health consequences and death, especially for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The infection is considered by the FDA as one of the more dangerous foodborne illnesses and frequently results in hospitalizations and carries a 25% fatality rate.
Symptoms of listeria infections may include nausea, muscle ache, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. In severe cases for the elderly and young children, the bacteria could spread through the bloodstream to the nervous system resulting in sometimes fatal infections. For pregnant women, listerosis can pose a risk of miscarriages, still births, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
The recalled ice cream products were manufactured by Agave Dream of Verdes Peninsula, California and distributed across the nation to various retailers from KeHE Romeoville, Illinois warehouse, DPI NW Americold ware house in Louisiana, IWI Franklin Indiana warehouse, and Haddon House Richburg of South Carolina.
The FDA recommends that customers with recalled Agave Dream Cappuccino ice cream products containing “Best By” date “07/04/17” stop consuming them immediately and contact the manufacturer at 866-993-4438 or email them at email@example.com for information on how to receive a full refund.
A similar recall was issued last year in May, when the FDA forced a recall of all of Blue Bell Creameries products out on store shelves following 10 illnesses and three deaths and linked to strains of listeria traced back to their products.
According to documents filed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) the company knew of existing contamination problems at its Oklahoma plant since 2013, when the FDA collected 17 positive tests for listeria on equipment and around its plant from March 2013 through February 2015. Additional reports indicated Blue Bell sent “presumptive positive” listeria samples to a third party for confirmation on at least two occasions in 2014.
As a result of the potential cover-up scandal, a complaint was filed against Blue Bell Creameries in May 2015 by 32 year old David Philip Shockley, who indicates that he worked as an administrator in a retirement community in Houston when he ate contaminated ice cream in October 2013 and fell ill.
Shockley alleges that he contracted a severe case of listeria meningitis with encephalitis from the ice cream, which resulted in respiratory failure, septic shock and brain damage. He is now unable to work and is cared for by his parents in Maryland.