More scoops of ice cream recalled this week over listeria caution

Judging from the last week of recalls, you should consider tossing the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in your refrigerator. Heck, toss any flavors similar to chocolate chip cookie dough. Find a new favorite flavor for a while. Like rum raisin.

Listeria concerns at Iowa-based cookie dough ingredient supplier Aspen Hills, Inc. prompted three more voluntary ice cream recalls Monday and Tuesday, two of which involve lots distributed in Florida. These are separate recalls from Friday’s Publix recall of its Publix Premium Brand Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.

Aspen Hills learned of the problem from Blue Bell, according to Blue Bell in its announcement of a Sept. 21 recall of some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookie Two Step ice cream lots. Monday, after learning of more affected lots from Aspen Hills, Blue Bell recalled half gallons and pints of the two aforementioned flavors, along with 3-gallon tubs of Blue Monster, Chocolate Chip Coookie and Krazy Kookie Dough sold to food service customers. The company stated the product passed Blue Bell’s internal testing, which originally discovered the earlier listeria problem, but the company was acting out of extreme caution.

In an e-mail to The Herald, Blue Bell said it has suspended all purchases from Aspen Hills indefinitely.

Florida’s on the distribution list for those products as well as for several recalled Tuesday by the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company, a supplier for ice cream shops, online stores and grocery stores.

Chocolate Shoppe told customers to throw out or return for refund 3-gallon tubs of Cookie Dough Ice Cream with code dates of 12/29/17, 12/19/17, 12/13/17, 12/6/17, 11/26/17 and 11/15/17; Heaps of Love Ice Cream with code dates 12/29/17, 11/24/17 and 11/8/17; Peanut Butter Cookie Dough coded 12/1/17 and 11/18/17; Sticks & Stones 12/27/17, 12/2/17 and 11/10/17; and Yippee Skippee 12/1/17. Also, 3-gallon cartons of Baked Bear brand Cookie Dough coded 12/6/17, 11/26/17 and 11/15/17.

The pints on Chocolate Shoppe’s toss-or-return list are of Cookie Dough Ice Cream coded 12/13/17, 12/9/17 and 11/26/17.

Blue Bunny yanked a seasonal flavor, Hoppin Holidoodle, that’s distributed only in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona and Texas.

None of the companies reported illnesses or injuries yet from the recalled products. Aspen Hills said the same thing in a company statement:

“On (Sunday), we initiated a voluntary recall of a limited quantity of our ready-to-eat cookie dough products because of potential exposure to Listeria monocytogenes. There’s no evidence of any such exposure – to the contrary, our lab results for all of our products are negative for L-mono and we have no reports of any illness attributable to this product – but we are acting out of an abundance of caution because a thorough review of our manufacturing environment has revealed instances where we may not have met our food safety standards.

“Some of the issues that were identified included inadequate documentation of protocol, failure to wear proper uniforms and the possibility of cross-contamination. Other issues involved the failure of our personnel to consistently follow our standard operating procedures. 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. Accordingly, we chose to err on the side of caution and initiate a voluntary recall of a limited quantity of our product.”

According to company spokesman Jon Austin, 27 Aspen Hills customers received the product.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Almost everyone who is diagnosed with listeriosis has “invasive” infection, in which the bacteria spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract.”

Especially vulnerable groups include senior citizens, newborns, pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems.