Listeria-tainted cookie dough is causing headaches throughout the ice cream industry. After Blue Bell Creameries announced it was pulling products from shelves in 16 states, more companies have issued voluntary recalls of their frozen desserts. The problem is traced back to an ingredient supplied by Iowa-based Aspen Hills.
So far, Blue Bunny, Publix, and Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, have joined Blue Bell in recalling products that contain Aspen Hills’s chocolate chip cookie dough. And, the listeria fears have spread beyond cold treats: Nutrisystem is recalling chocolate chip cookie dough NutriCrush meal-replacement bars.
An Aspen Hills spokesperson tells the Associated Press 22,000 cases of cookie dough, made between July 15 and September 30, may be tainted with listeria. It doesn’t appear to be clear how, exactly, Aspen Hills’s product became tainted, but there were multiple "lapses" in the company’s food safety protocol.
"Any one of these issues is a matter we would take seriously, but collectively they represent to us an unacceptable lapse in the standards our customers — and we — expect," the spokesperson told the AP.
The cookie dough was reportedly sold to "about 27 food manufacturers," so more recalls may be coming. No related illnesses have been reported to date.
The Centers for Disease Control says listeria primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
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