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Sunday March 03, 2024

‘Soft Serve On The Go’ ice cream linked to 20-state-wide Listeria outbreak in US

"Soft Serve On The Go" ice cream cups have been recalled by people as a potential cause behind the Listeria outbreak

By Web Desk
August 12, 2023
This image shows an ice cream cup Soft Serve On The Go made by Kosher Icecream. — Kosher Icecream/File
This image shows an ice cream cup "Soft Serve On The Go" made by Kosher Icecream. — Kosher Icecream/File

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating a Listeria outbreak — likely linked to Real Kosher's "Soft Serve On The Go" ice cream cups — which is feared to have been spread over 20 US states.

Two people were hospitalized in New York and Pennsylvania after eating in "Soft Serve On The Go" ice cream cups, said CDC. 

The patients contracted Listeria caused by Listeriosis, a potentially dangerous sickness brought on by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

Consuming tainted food exposes people to the microorganism. The risk of serious illness and death from Listeria infection is highest in newborns, pregnant women, people over 65, and people with compromised immune systems.

"CDC is concerned because the recalled ice cream was served in at least one long-term care facility, where many residents are aged 65 or older or may have weakened immune systems," the agency said in the statement. "This makes them more likely to get very sick from Listeria."

One of the patients admitted to the hospital with Listeriosis stated that they had consumed a "Soft Serve On The Go" ice cream cup from Real Kosher Ice Cream brand in Brooklyn, New York, before becoming unwell. After searching that person's freezer, health inspectors discovered L. monocytogenes in an ice cream cup.

Many people, especially if they're not in one of the higher-risk groups, recover from Listeriosis without medical care and don't get tested for L. monocytogenes, the CDC said adding that the fact that investigations of such outbreaks take time, "the true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses."

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that while authorities are still determining if the microbe discovered in the freezer matches the outbreak strain, the ice cream manufacturer has denied any potentially tainted items.

The UPC (Universal Product Code), which is stated in the FDA statement, can be used to identify the recalled ice cream cups, which were sold in 20 states. The CDC said that the items are also exported to Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

All the "Soft Serve On The Go" ice cream cups produced by Real Kosher Ice Cream up to 4 August are being recalled, according to the FDA. "The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem," the agency said in the statement.

The CDC emphasised that people should refrain from consuming "Soft Serve On The Go" ice cream cups while the investigation is ongoing. Any of these products that are in people's homes should be thrown away or returned to the store for a refund because L. monocytogenes can live at subfreezing temperatures. Hospitals, businesses, and long-term care facilities in particular should be mindful not to sell or serve ice cream cups.

After consuming the ice cream, seek medical attention right away if you experience any symptoms of listeriosis, such as fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, stiff necks, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures. 

Listeria symptoms often appear two weeks after consuming contaminated food, however, they might occasionally appear as soon as that day or as late as ten weeks later.