Wow, what is up with the proliferation of food recalls due to Listeria monocytogenes?
And will we consumers be craving ice cream less as a result? (Until our memories lapse, perhaps.)
Recently Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams announced a recall of all of their ice cream and food products, as well as a temporary shut down of their stores, after the Nebraska Department of Agriculture discovered listeria in a random sample. (That’s a great food business, by the way, that doesn’t wait until consumers report illness before instituting a very expensive recall.)
Just last week Blue Bell Ice Cream recalled its Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavors in half gallons (produced on March 17, 2015, and March 27, 2015) which were found to contain the bacteria. A number of illnesses related to Blue Bell Ice Cream were reported.
And in December 2014, Snoqualmie Ice Cream recalled not only their own ice creams but those of other ice cream brands who had sourced ice cream for use in their own products.
What’s up with all the food recalls?
It’s not just ice cream. Todd Harris of Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, a company that helps food manufacturers handle recalls, shared that according to USDA reports, “there were 31 recalls of meat, poultry or processed egg products in Q4, up 48 percent from Q3. This is the highest number of events tracked since Q1 2012, says the FDA reported 105 recall events in the fourth quarter of 2014 affecting 94 companies and 13.8 million units.”
Could that increase might be attributed to an increase in the number of companies making and selling food (as well as the trends in meat products like jerky, yogurt and ice cream)?
Or issues with the supply chain and training?
Although the numbers of recalls and affected companies were the lowest of 2014, the total affected units more than doubled compared to the third quarter. Undeclared allergens, where food labels don’t match the contents, accounted for more than half the recalled units during the latest quarter.