Listeria found again, but what is the illness?

Listeria has been connected to a second ice cream company, this time, in Ohio instead of Texas. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams of Ohio recalled its frozen foods after detecting listeria in some of the products. However, this particular listeria outbreak has made many ask questions about what the bacteria and illness actually is, given the fact that bacteria’s generally can’t grow in freezing temperatures. That’s what makes a frozen food outbreak of listeria so uncommon and in this case, strange.

According to the CDC there are approximately 1,600 cases each year of listeria, and in a statement they pointed out that, “Typically, listeria is a disease that attacks the very young and old, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant females.”

A spokesperson for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams pointed out though that this particular listeria outbreak has nothing to do with the Blue Bell outbreak that originated in Texas. They said in a statement, “At this time, the FDA does not believe that the finding of listeria in one sample of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is related to the outbreak and recall associated with Blue Bell Ice Cream.”


However, meats and raw dairy products are typically the vehicles for listeria. It simply doesn’t exist within other types of foods, typically, but in this instance it did. That is a rarity though, according to most officials. At this point the major concern is understanding the disease and understanding that the general public isn’t as at risk for this type of illness as some might imagine. It sounds like an incredibly vicious disease on the surface, and it is, but it is amongst the best managed illnesses in the United States thanks to continually growing medical science and increased awareness in terms of the processes that our foods go through to actually become our foods.

Now that a second ice cream company has been hit though by this illness, it’ll spur more frozen food companies to reconsider their practices and look at some of the root causes within their operation.