A week after an ice cream company recalled two flavors, little information is available about a person who recently developed an infection from the same type of Listeria monocytogenes that has been found in the company’s production plant.

Owners of Working Cow Homemade Ice Cream Inc. of St. Petersburg, FL, recalled their no-sugar-added vanilla and no-sugar-added chocolate ice cream manufactured in three-gallon tubs during the month of May. Listeria bacteria easily survive freezing conditions, as was demonstrated by the Listeria outbreak in recent years that was linked to Blue Bell brand ice cream. 

As of Oct. 4, only one illness had been confirmed in connection with the recalled ice cream. 

Photo provided by Working Cow

The Working Cow company officials are working with more than 150 retail entities that bought the recalled ice cream, according to the notice on the FDA website. Those entities include, but are not necessarily limited to, ice cream parlors, independent living facilities, and restaurants. 

Names and locations of retailers or other businesses that receive recalled food are rarely revealed by FDA or the food companies it regulates.

“This recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following notification of a recent consumer (listeriosis) case in Florida which has been linked to a strain of Listeria monocytogenes found to be present at the Working Cow manufacturing facility during environmental sampling in 2017,” the company’s recall notice says. 

“… we are working tirelessly to identify the cause of the problem and permanently fix it.”

The recalled ice cream is packaged in plastic yellow 3-gallon tubs with labels that have the product name and “born-on” date. The born-on date refers to the manufacturing date. The company did not include any other labeling details or identifying information in its recall notice.

Anyone who has eaten the Working Cow ice cream and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about the possible exposure to the bacteria. It can take up to 70 days after exposure symptoms, so anyone who has eaten any of the ice cream recently should monitor themselves for symptoms in the coming weeks.

Listeria monocytogenes is a microscopic organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although otherwise healthy adults may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

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