Is Your Ice Cream Safe to Eat? Here’s What the FDA Has to Say

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to make sure your ice cream is safe to eat. If you thought it already was, read on for information on an important announcement the FDA recently made about its findings from inspections and environmental sampling for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella at 89 ice cream production facilities.

So what prompted the FDA to take a serious look at ice cream and potential illnesses related to the products? After 16 ice cream recalls between 2013 and 2015, the government agency decided to start sampling the sweet stuff. The resulting report, which includes data from facilities in 32 states taken between Sep. 12, 2016 to Aug. 30, 2017, provides plenty of insight into ice cream safety in America.

photo: Calebe Miranda via Pexels

On a positive note, the FDA didn’t find “objectionable conditions or practices” in almost half of the facilities they visited. But (on the negative side) they did detect Listeria monocytogenes in 19 of the facilities. Before you rush to toss your ice cream in the trash, only one of the facilities had the Listeria monocytogenes on a food-contact surface. A separate facility also tested positive for Salmonella.

Following the FDA’s investigation, there were three voluntary ice cream recalls made between 2017 and 2018—two for Working Cow Homemade, Inc. ice cream and one for Nelson’s Creamery LLC.

If you’re wondering whether your ice cream is safe to eat, the recalls resulting from the report are all in the past. But the FDA does stress the importance of safe practices and preventative controls for commercial ice cream manufacturers.

—Erica Loop



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