Velvet Ice Cream Listeria Recall, FDA Found “Resident Pathogen”

Two years after the FDA deemed Listeria a “resident pathogen” at its facility, Velvet Ice Cream of Utica, OH has recalled all of the products it makes for Listeria risk. The Velvet Ice Cream Listeria recall includes dozens of ice cream, sherbet, and frozen novelty products sold under the brand names Buehler’s, Discount Drug Mart, Super Dip, Ruggle’s, Velvet, Whale of a Pail, and North Star Frog Spit.

At the time of the recall, the company said it was not aware of any illnesses associated with the products. However, consumers who have purchased these products should not eat them as Listeria can cause serious illness and death. And, among pregnant women, it can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.

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Velvet Ice Cream Listeria Recall

The Velvet Ice Cream Listeria recall includes all products manufactured at the company’s Utica, OH facility on or after March 24, 2021. The company shipped the products, sold under a variety of brand names, to retailers in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia including drug stores, convenience stores and supermarkets. The recall includes all sizes and containers.

Symptoms of a Listeria infection include high fever, stiff neck, other muscle stiffness, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Usually, these symptoms appear within two weeks of eating contaminated food. But sometimes they can take as long as 70 days to appear. Consumers who ate the now-recalled products should monitor themselves for symptoms and see a doctor right away if they develop. Pregnant women can suffer miscarriage or stillbirth even if they only experience mild symptoms from the infection.

Velvet Ice Cream Listeria Recall

FDA: Listeria a “Resident Pathogen” at Velvet Ice Cream

Although it is a bacteria that can be found anywhere in nature, Listeria monocytogenes grows best in cool, damp environments. It can survive freezing temperatures and thrives in conditions that inhibit the growth of other bacteria. Because of these risks, food manufacturers must have specific plans to test for, and prevent the growth of, Listeria. This has been a challenge for Velvet Ice Cream.

In May 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent Velvet Ice Cream a warning letter. Months earlier, the agency had found serious food safety violations during an inspection and told the company they needed to be addressed. But on a follow-up visit, the FDA discovered the problems had not been adequately addressed. The primary issue was Listeria. 

During inspections in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the FDA found six different strains of Listeria in the facility. And genetic tests showed that the “fingerprint” of one of the strains discovered in 2018 matched one found in 2019. The presence of the same strain over multiple years “indicates that there has been a resident pathogen or harborage site in your facility since 2018,” the FDA stated in the letter. What’s more, the strain was also isolated from one Listeria patient in 2018 indicating it is capable of causing human illness, the letter states.

Experienced Listeria Lawyers

If you or a family member developed a Listeria infection after eating ice cream made Velvet and would like a free consultation with our experienced team, please contact us today by calling 1(888) 377-8900 (toll-free), texting 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below.

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