National Ice Cream Recall Due to Listeria Effects 13 Different Brands: Details

Listeria is a foodborne illness that could be fatal for people at high risk.


Jun. 26 2024, Updated 9:30 a.m. ET

Listeria monocytogenes label and a syringe.
Source: iStock

Food recalls can be an unexpected challenge in your grocery shopping, but it's always important to keep an eye out for products that have been deemed unsafe. In 2023, multiple listeria outbreaks in ice cream and milkshake products alarmed consumers just looking to eat a frozen treat, and in 2024, the

Article continues below advertisement

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), listeria sickens about 1,600 people each year, and around 260 people die from the infection. At highest risk are pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems, per the CDC.

Keep reading to learn more about these devastating listeria outbreaks.

A girl and her mother sharing a milkshake.
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

What is listeria?

Listeria is a bacteria, called Listeria monocytogenes, that can contaminate food and sicken people who eat the food. Listeria is the third leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the U.S., according to CDC estimates.

Symptoms of listeria infection usually start as diarrhea and vomiting within 24 hours of consuming contaminated food. Most people's symptoms are mild and usually clear up within one to three days. Antibiotics are used to treat listeria illness.

However, for those at higher risk, like pregnant people and people with weak immune systems, the infection may become a more severe “invasive illness.” Symptoms of a listeria invasive illness include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and seizures.

Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth. The CDC estimates that about one in 20 non-pregnant people who get sick with invasive listeriosis die.

Article continues below advertisement
Close-up photo of three types of ice cream: vanilla, chocolate and pistachio.
Source: iStock

On June 24, 2024, multiple ice cream brands were recalled for possible listeria contamination.

On June 24, 2024, the FDA issued an alert that ice cream manufacturer, Totally Cool Inc. of Maryland, issued a voluntary recall for 13 ice cream brands that may have been contaminated with listeria.

As of writing, no illnesses have been reported from the recalled products.

Article continues below advertisement

According to ABC News, Totally Cool's products include Friendly's, Hershey's, the Frozen Farmer sorbet, Chipwich, Crave Better Foods, and Jeni's products. A full list of the recalled products is available at the FDA website.

Multiple scoops of multicolored ice cream layered one next to the other.
Source: iStock
Article continues below advertisement

On Nov. 18, 2023, Wilcox Ice Cream was recalled due to possible listeria outbreak.

On Nov. 18, 2023, Wilcox Ice Cream of East Arlington, Vt., launched a voluntary recall of all its Wilcox Premium Product ice cream, yogurt, and yogurt bars, as well as Leonardo's gelato, which, as of Nov. 14, may possibly contain listeria as well, per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Although a full list of recalled products is available on the FDA website, consumers should watch out for the following:

  • All flavors in the Wilcox Premium Product line with the Best By/Sell By dates of 9/14/24 to 11/14/24
  • All flavors in the Wilcox Super Premium Product line with the Best By/Sell By dates of 9/13/24 to 11/14/24
  • Wilcox's Premium yogurt line with Best By/Sell By dates of 10/5/24, 10/6/24, 10/26/24, and 10/27/24
  • Wilcox Ice Cream 802 Ice Cream Bars with Best By/Sell By dates of 9/15/24 to 11/14/24
  • Leonardo's Gelato Pints and 4oz cups with Best By/Sell By dates of 8/28/24 to 11/14/24
Article continues below advertisement
Scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Source: iStock

A listeria outbreak has also been linked to ice cream sold in convenience stores.

On Aug. 9, 2023, Brooklyn-based Real Kosher Ice Cream recalled its “Soft Serve On The Go” ice cream cups because of a listeria outbreak. The recall occurred after two people got ill from eating the ice cream, and tests done by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and New York Department came back positive for Listeria, reports the CDC.

Article continues below advertisement

The recalled products were distributed in grocery stores, convenience stores, and canteens, as well as to camps, schools, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities, per the CDC.

Freezer that holds Soft Serve to Go ice cream.
Source: CDC
Article continues below advertisement

A listeria outbreak has been linked to a milkshake machine in Tacoma.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, a listeria outbreak in Tacoma, Wash. hospitalized six people, three of whom died. in August 2023. The outbreak was traced to an ice cream machine used to make milkshakes at Frugals restaurant. The department said the milkshakes were likely contaminated with listeria between May 29, 2023, and Aug. 7, 2023.

“Investigators found Listeria in the ice cream machines, which were not cleaned correctly. No other Frugals restaurants are believed to be affected,” the WSDOH stated in a press release. Although the restaurant stopped using the ice cream machines on Aug. 8, 2023, people can get sick with listeria up to 70 days after eating contaminated food, the WSDOH stated.

Article continues below advertisement

Representatives of Frugals, a restaurant chain in Washington and Montana, said they are “deeply saddened” and “heartbroken” to hear about the listeria deaths and illness linked to milkshakes at their Tacoma location.

“Although the (Pierce County Health Department) said they are confident that this contamination is isolated to the Tacoma location milkshake machine, out of an abundance of caution for our customers, we have also directed all milkshake machines in our other locations to be shut down and samples from these machines to be sent out for similar testing,” Frugals said in an Aug. 19, 2023, statement posted to Instagram.

If you ate at a Frugals between May 29 and Aug. 7, 2023, the WSDOH advises consulting with your doctor.

This article, originally published on Aug. 30, 2023, has been updated.

More from Green Matters

Latest News News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Green Matters. Green Matters is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.