Listeria-infested ice-cream poses health hazard

Listeria-infested ice-cream poses health hazard

Owing to the possible contamination with Listeria, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams announced that it will destroy more than 265 tons of its ice cream. As a curative measure, the ice cream maker recalled all its products from retailers and shuttered ice-cream shops in six states.

The bacteria were found last week in Jeni's products at its production facility in Columbus. The company would incur losses to the tune of $2.5 million.

Listeria is a bacterium that leads to stomach illness, causing nausea, vomiting, muscle ache and diarrhea. It severely affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those who have HIV, diabetes, heart disease, pregnant women, infants and the elderly.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, said, "Listeria causes about 1,600 infections a year and about three to four outbreaks a year in the United States". The bacteria can grow and multiply even in the refrigerator. The incubation period for Listeria is anywhere from three to 70 days and it multiplies in foods stored over a long period of time.

Another ice-cream maker, Blue Bell Creameries, also recalled its products last week and closed its facilities in three states after some gallons of ice-cream were tested positive for Listeria. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that three people in Kansas have died and 10 people in four states have fallen ill after consuming the Listeria-infested Blue Bell products.

The FDA is investigating the situation and will continue providing updated information to consumers about this health hazard. Dr. Brendan Jackson, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, advised people not to panic and to see a doctor if the symptoms persist over a few weeks.

Therefore, avoid consuming any of Jeni's or Blue Bell's frozen products until these products are tested as safe for consumption.

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