If You Have Any of These Ice Creams in Your Freezer, Don't Eat Them, FDA Warns
The agency is alerting consumers about two different ice cream brands facing recalls.
Your sweet tooth could be putting you at risk for more than just cavities. From undeclared allergens to bacterial contamination, some of your favorite desserts can be hiding dangerous hazards. If you happen to ice cream stored away in your freezer for a treat, you'll want to reassess your inventory now. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just issued safety alerts for two separate ice cream brands in the span of one day. Read on to find out what the agency is warning you not to eat.
There have been several ice cream recalls in the U.S. this year.
This is likely not be the first time you've had to inspect your freezer this year. Over the past few months, numerous ice cream brands have issued recalls for one reason or another.
In February, the Royal Ice Cream Company of Manchester, Connecticut recalled specific lots of Batch Ice Cream brand ice creams due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Then in March, Turkey Hill Dairy of Conestoga, Pennsylvania, recalled select containers of its Chocolate Marshmallow Premium Ice Cream after a customer found undeclared peanuts.
Now, the FDA has cited two more ice cream brands for similar concerns.
The FDA is warning consumers about two ice cream brands.
On July 13, the FDA released safety alerts about two different ice cream brands: Belfonte and Big Olaf. According to the agency, Belfonte Dairy of Kansas City, Missouri, is recalling 1.5-quart packages of its "Chocolate to Die For" Premium Ice Cream that were produced at its manufacturing facility in Kansas City. Big Olaf creamery of Sarasota, Florida, on the other hand, is recalling all flavors and all lots of its Big Olaf brand ice cream products, per the FDA.
The recalls only affect select parts of the country, however. Belfonte's recalled products were sold and distributed to shoppers at Hy-Vee, Cash Saver, Harps, Price Mart and Heartland Stores and other distributors in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Columbia, Missouri; Springfield, Missouri; and the Kansas City Metro Area. Big Olaf's products were sold primarily sold in Florida at Big Olaf retailers and to consumers in restaurants and senior homes. But one location in Fredericksburg, Ohio, also distributed this brand's ice cream.
The two ice creams were recalled for different reasons.
While Belfonte and Big Olaf might have issued their recalls on the same day, the two companies have different reasons for doing so. According to the FDA, Belfonte issued a recall on its "Chocolate to Die For" ice cream because the product may include undeclared peanuts. The company initiated the recall after a consumer complaint revealed that certain cartons of the ice cream were sent out in packages that did not declare the presence of peanuts.
"People with an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products," the FDA warned.
Big Olaf's recall was initiated because of a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, however, and that puts many more consumers at risk. According to the FDA, this bacteria can "cause serious and sometimes fatal infections" in more vulnerable individuals, like young children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. "Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women," the agency added.
One of the brands has been linked to at least one death.
There have been no reports of any illness associated with the recalled Belfonte ice cream, but the FDA said that consumers can return their product to the place they purchased it for a refund. Big Olaf, on the other hand, "may be a potential source of illness in an ongoing Listeria monocytogenes outbreak," the agency warned.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been investigating an ongoing, multi-state Listeria outbreak since Jan. 2021. As of July 13, 2022, the agency said that throughout 10 states, there have been 23 illnesses, 22 hospitalizations, and one death associated with this outbreak. "Eighteen people interviewed reported eating ice cream, 10 reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery," the FDA said, noting that the investigation is ongoing and other ice brands not related to Big Olaf were also "mentioned as a possible source."
Both the CDC and the FDA have been urging consumers to steer clear of any Big Olaf products due to the company's potential involvement in the outbreak. "Big Olaf is cooperating fully with regulatory authorities to successfully return all suspected products and has requested retailers to stop sales and dispose of product. Consumers who have purchased Big Olaf Ice Cream Products should not consume these products and dispose of them immediately," the FDA warned. "Any areas, containers, and serving utensils that may have touched the ice cream should be cleaned."