In a letter dated August 9, 2016, the FDA says it found the presence of Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) in the facility. Two positive samples were found near where the company was manufacturing the base for its Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso ice cream. The FDA took 75 samples at that time.
This is not the first time the Columbus-based ice cream company has been in the news for Listeria. The company first issued a voluntary recall in 2015 and was out of business for some time after the bacteria was found in its production facility.
The FDA said these findings from January demonstrate that “sanitation procedures have historically been inadequate to control, reduce, or eliminate this pathogenic organism from (the Jeni’s) facility.”
The FDA further went on to detail two “significant” violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods. In the first example, an FDA investigator reportedly noted “a dust-like material” accumulating in the dish room during the manufacture of Buttermilk Yogurt base, Brambleberry Crisp base, and Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso base.
“Listeria is so widespread in the natural world, it will inevitably find its way into otherwise clean environments,” Mary Kamm, Jeni’s quality leader, told the Wall Street Journal. “We can assure everyone that the food we produce is absolutely 100% safe.”
The company released a blog post on Wednesday and said it tests every batch of ice cream for Listeria to ensure it is safe.