Listeria fears prompt Jeni’s to close ice cream shops again

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 12, 2015
The store front of Jeni's in the Decatur Square. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The store front of Jeni’s in the Decatur Square. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has announced it is again temporarily closing its shops in the Atlanta area after discovering Listeria in its production kitchen.

The company made the announcement on Friday, June 12, weeks after reopening its stores.

The company had reopened its scoop shops on May 22 after clearing up an earlier Listeria outbreak that kept the shops closed for nearly one month. The company says none of the ice cream it has sold since reopening has been contaminated.

“We have found Listeria in our production kitchen again,” the company said on its Facebook page. “We have stopped making ice cream and are investigating where and how it may have re-entered the facility. Since resuming production on May 13, we have been testing every batch of ice cream we have made and holding it until we learned that the testing did not detect any Listeria. So it is with complete confidence that we can say all of the ice cream that has been served in our shops since reopening on May 22 has been safe and is 100 percent Listeria-free. We are closing our scoop shops temporarily because we don’t have enough ice cream to keep them stocked.”

Jeni’s estimates its initial recalls and cleanup due to the Listeria outbreak cost the company $2.5 million. In the interim, Jeni’s made some provisions to provide partial pay to its employees who were idle while the stores were closed.

The company provided lengthy press releases throughout the ordeal, including a release documenting where the company found the source of the deadly bacteria.

Listeria can cause infections in children and adults. It’s also a threat to people with weak immune systems. It has been known to cause stillbirths and miscarriages. A Listeria-outbreak in Blue Bell Ice Cream products killed three people, according to the CDC.

For more information on the previous outbreak, click here.

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