It was the pint-filling machine at Jeni’s that lead to Listeria recall

The listeria found at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ plant was on the spout of one of its pint-filling machines.

listeria4The company plans to spend at least $200,000 to rework its manufacturing line at its Michigan Avenue plant to ensure listeria never visits again, according to a press release.

“We will spend whatever it takes,” said CEO John Lowe, in a statement today.

Jeni’s recalled all of its products and shut down all 21 scoop shops on April 23 after a pint of Dark Chocolate ice cream bought at a Whole Foods in Lincoln, Neb., tested positive for listeria. The test was part of a random sampling of food conducted by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
Jeni’s tested other pints and its production kitchen. Listeria was found in at least one other flavor and at the plant. The machine on which the listeria was found is used only to fill pints, not the large bins, known as buckets, used at scoop shops.

The shops will remain closed, though, while Jeni’s works through its plant revisions.

The company has estimated that in all, it will destroy about 535,000 pounds of product. The recall will cost more than $2.5 million, Lowe said.
The biggest change at the production kitchen announced today is that fresh produce and vegetables, a hallmark of Jeni’s flavors, will be processed at a separate location. Jeni’s did not say where.
The company will also use a new testing regime that includes periodic swabbing of the plant to actively search for contaminants. The protocol is similar to one used by Smith Dairy, of Orrville, which supplies Jeni’s ice cream base. Smith Dairy swabs its facilities twice a month to check for listeria and other contaminants, according to Nate Schmid, chief operating officer.

Jeni’s will also test and hold all of its products prior to shipment in order to ensure their safety, Lowe said in today’s statement.