Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams finds more listeria, stops production

Nine flavors of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams are shown. Listeria was again found in the company's Ohio facility, forcing production to halt.

Nine flavors of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are shown. Listeria was again found in the company’s Ohio facility, forcing production to halt.

(Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream)

Just one month after resuming production, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has once again found listeria in its Columbus, Ohio, production facility, the company said in a statement Friday. The firm has been battling the bacteria in its factory since April.

“We discovered the listeria through routine swabbing as part of our monitoring program,” Jeni’s chief executive, John Lowe, said in the statement.

All ice cream production was stopped after the discovery, “and [we] have been investigating where and how it may have re-entered the facility,” Lowe said. “We have a theory and are testing that theory. We don’t yet have a timeline for the resumption of production.”

Previously, Jeni’s zeroed in on bacteria found on the spout of a machine used to fill some pint containers. In early May, the company said it was spending $20,000 to revamp its kitchen and improve its protocols.


Since resuming production on May 13, Jeni’s has been testing every batch of ice cream. “So it is with complete confidence that I can say all of the ice cream that has been served in our shops since reopening on May 22 has been safe and is 100% listeria-free,” Lowe added.

However, the company is once again closing its scoop shops because it doesn’t have enough ice cream to keep them stocked, according to the statement.

The contamination at Jeni’s was discovered after a sample randomly collected by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture tested positive for the bacteria.

The boutique ice cream purveyor started in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio’s, North Market. It now has more than 20 retail locations nationwide, including one in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood, and its products have been widely available in markets such as Whole Foods and Gelson’s in the Los Angeles area.


The latest announcement comes just two days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its final report on the Blue Bell ice cream listeria outbreak, which sickened 10 people in four states, including three deaths in Kansas. Blue Bell Creameries recalled all of its products on April 20 and has suspended operations at its Oklahoma facility.