There is nothing quite like the sensation of a cold, sweet bite of your favorite flavor melting on your tongue when it’s hot outside. But according to a report released by the Food and Drug Administration on April 24, that tasty treat could potentially land you in the hospital with a life-threatening infection.
Beginning in September of 2016, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a series of sanitation tests of ice cream manufacturing facilities that took over a year to complete. This investigation was in response to the fact that there had been 16 recalls of ice cream containing pathogens since 2013, the most severe of which occurred in 2015- leading to a multi-state outbreak of listeria in which three people died and ten more were hospitalized.
Eighty-nine facilities in total were tested, which represents sixteen percent of all US ice cream manufacturers registered with the FDA. Of those, it was discovered that forty-five were engaging in objectionable practices such as improper cleaning and sanitization of equipment, inadequate protection of ingredients and food packaging from waste water, and failure of employees to thoroughly wash hands.
In addition, twenty-one percent of the tested facilities were found to contain listeria monocytogenes, which is the species of bacteria that causes the infection listeriosis. This bacteria can survive in environments with or without oxygen, and unlike most other pathogens, survives even in freezing temperatures, which is why its presence in an ice cream manufacturing plant is so concerning.
Listeriosis primarily affects the most vulnerable among us, namely pregnant women, newborns, adults over 65, and those with a weakened immune system. Although pregnant women may only experience mild flu-like symptoms at first, it can cause severe disease in the fetus and may lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. In older adults and those with compromised immune systems, listeriosis can lead to infections of the bloodstream which can cause sepsis, and infections of the brain which can cause meningitis or encephalitis, all of which are often fatal. It can also affect the bones and joints as well as sites in the chest and abdomen.
Ice Cream Food Poisoning Lawyer & Lawsuits
If you or a loved one have become ill due to exposure to pathogens in ice cream you have purchased, please contact us. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an ice cream food poisoning lawsuit. We offer a Free Case Evaluation. We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.