The Listeria Ice Cream Streak
I love ice cream. All kinds, all varieties. I’ll eat just about any kind of ice cream. So imagine my horror to watch my recall stream in my Woozy app display recall after recall for ice cream potentially contaminated with listeria. I needed to know more, why so much listeria, and why in my ice cream?
Listeria or Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that multiplies like crazy in refrigerator temperatures. Ingesting this bacteria can result in Listeriosis, a serious infection that affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis causes fever, muscle aches, stiff necks, and gastrointestinal discomfort. In extreme cases, Listeriosis can lead to septicemia and meningitis. Learn more about Listeriosis on the CDC’s website by clicking here.
Listeriosis is different from Salmonella in that the symptoms can be difficult to track, and may take one to two weeks to appear.
Listeria and Ice Cream
Ice cream and other dairy products are particularly susceptible to Listeria because the bacteria can survive in colder temperatures. While pasteurization can help control Listeria, nearly everything else in a food handling plant could potentially harbor the bacteria. It’s important to note that for almost all of the recent recalls that have been issued out of potential listeria with no reported sicknesses.