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Dollar General Shopper Slams Store for Creating a "Breeding Ground for Listeria"

The retailer is facing backlash over ice cream that could carry health risks.

At this point, Dollar General has become the go-to store for many shoppers. The discount chain has significantly expanded its physical presence across the U.S., and started incorporating more grocery options into its stores—making it a convenient and affordable destination. But depending on what's on your shopping list, you may want to pay attention to a new video from one outraged shopper, who criticized Dollar General for creating a "breeding ground for bacteria such as Listeria." Read on to find out why she's sounded the alarm.

READ THIS NEXT: Communities Are Fighting Back Against Dollar General and Dollar Tree—Here's Why.

A shopper called out a Listeria risk at Dollar General.


@Dollar General I know you're short staffed but maybe it's time to add storage freezers to keep parishable products safe until someone can stock them. #dollargeneral #foodsafety #foodsafety101 #icecream #psa

♬ Creepy Scary Sound – Novia Nisa


In a new video posted from her TikTok account @bri_sizemoree, shopper Bri Sizemore warned others about a Listeria risk at her local Dollar General.

In the TikTok, Sizemore shows a cart full of ice cream left out in the middle of an aisle at one of the retailer's stores. She also records herself pushing on the sides of two of the cartons, indicating that they have clearly melted while being left outside of the freezer.

"This is dangerous," Sizemore wrote in text overlaying the video. "When ice cream melts, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria such as Listeria. The bacteria can cause severe illness."

Listeria contamination has very serious consequences.

woman with norovirus getting sick in the bathroom over the toilet
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock

If you eat food contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, you can develop listeriosis. While it's not as common as some other foodborne illnesses, listeriosis is still "very serious," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns.

According to the agency, this disease has a high mortality rate of around 20 to 30 percent—even if you are adequately treated for it with antibiotics.

"Over 90 percent of people with listeriosis are hospitalized, often in intensive care units," the FDA adds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is estimated that 1,600 people in the U.S. get listeriosis each year, and of those cases, about 260 people end up dying.

"The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems," the agency explains.

Melted ice cream has led to listeriosis infections.

Boy eating ice cream

Multiple past listeriosis outbreaks in the U.S. have been linked back to ice cream, according to the FDA. Amreen Bashir, a lecturer in biomedical sciences at Aston University in Birmingham, England, noted in a 2018 article for The Conversation that eating ice cream that has melted and then been refrozen can be a cause of foodborne illnesses like listeriosis.

"Ice cream can also pose a danger after purchase if it has melted and then been refrozen. This often happens when it is taken from the freezer, left out to thaw and then returned to the freezer before being taken out again to eat later," Bashir wrote. "Ice cream melts fairly rapidly at room temperature and the milky, sugary, liquid concoction is a perfect petri dish for bacteria like Listeria, essentially the second time you dig into the tub."

If you develop listeriosis, you may experience a variety of symptoms depending on the severity of your disease, per the FDA. With a mild case, you could have a fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But if your case becomes severe, you may also start developing a headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.

"Due to the range in severity of illness, people should consult their health care provider if they suspect that they have developed symptoms that resemble a Listeria infection," the FDA warns.

Commenters say Dollar General's lack of workers is to blame for the melted ice cream.

self checkout at dollar general

In the caption of her now-viral TikTok video, Sizemore pointed to the retailer's lack of employees.

"@Dollar General I know you're short staffed but maybe it's time to add storage freezers to keep perishable products safe until someone can stock them," she wrote.

Others chimed in about the retailer's staffing struggles in the comment section of Sizemore's video. "Dollar General will literally have one employee running the place and expecting them to put this stuff away," one user responded.

Another person wrote, "Dollar General is so poorly managed. Not the fault of the two staff they have to stock boxes and boxes."

Best Life reached out to Dollar General about Sizemore's video, and we will update this story with their response.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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