Royal Ice Cream Company Just Recalled Several Flavors Due To Possible Listeria Contamination

Ice cream shoppers in Massachusetts beware: That indulgent pint you picked up against your New Year's resolution's best intentions may be harboring a not-so-pleasant addition called listeria. According to the U.S. government's Food Safety website, this bacteria "can cause fever and diarrhea" and, if it spreads outside of the gut, "stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches." It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children. 

As the FDA notes, "Past listeriosis outbreaks in the U.S. have been linked to raw, unpasteurized milks and cheeses, ice cream, raw or processed vegetables, raw or processed fruits, raw or undercooked poultry, sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, and raw or smoked fish and other seafood." When listeria is detected in either in a food product or by inspection of food production process, the result is typically a recall.

Notable examples of listeria recalls include Tyson's massive recall of chicken products following reports from customers allegedly sickened by the bacteria, and fruit packager Country Fresh pulling it's products from certain Walmarts after the bacteria was found on processing equipment. The latter situation is precisely what happened at The Royal Ice Cream Company, Inc., the latest food manufacturer to remove its products from store shelves. 

Batch pints can be returned for a refund

The FDA announced on February 4, 2021 that The Royal Ice Cream Company, Inc. "initiated" a recall on three flavors of its Batch brand ice cream pints, "vanilla, ginger and mocha chip ice cream," which were shipped to the following Massachusetts grocers: Market Baskets, Big Y Stores, and CT & Roach Brothers Markets. The dessert brand made the call when an "FDA sampling revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes on processing equipment." 

Thankfully, no sickness has been reported, as of the FDA announcement, but with a "Date of Manufacture as 1/19/22 and Best By [date of] 7/19/23," there is a likelihood that customers could have potentially contaminated ice cream sitting in their freezers. The FDA's recall announcement includes the full list of product codes, "found on the bottom of the cup," and encourages customers "to return [the products] to the place of purchase for a full refund."

For further precaution, Royal Ice Cream Company says that it is working with the FDA to find the root of the issue, and is "holding future product and testing" before sending it out to retailers again.