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More than 60 ice cream products recalled over possible listeria contamination

Among the more than 60 products included in the recall are the Chipwich Vanilla Chocolate Chip ice cream sandwiches, Jeni’s Mint Chocolate Truffle pie ice cream sandwiches and Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Polar Bear ice cream sandwiches.
Chipwich / Jeni's Ice Creams / Hershey's Ice Cream
Among the more than 60 products included in the recall are the Chipwich Vanilla Chocolate Chip ice cream sandwiches, Jeni’s Mint Chocolate Truffle pie ice cream sandwiches and Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Polar Bear ice cream sandwiches.

As millions of Americans try to cool down during the record summer heat, a Maryland-based food manufacturer is recalling multiple brands of ice cream products sold nationwide that may have been contaminated with listeria, a potentially fatal bacteria.

The list of more than 60 affected products made by Totally Cool Inc. of Owings Mills, Md., includes brands such as Hershey’s, Friendly’s, Chipwich and Jeni’s. Pints of ice cream and sorbet, as well as ice cream cakes, sandwiches, cones and more are potentially tainted.

The Food and Drug Administration said there have been no reported illnesses so far.

Totally Cool halted production and distribution of the products after FDA sampling detected the presence of listeria, the agency said.

The company is investigating the presence of listeria and taking "preventative actions," the FDA added, and no other Totally Cool products are included in the recall.

Totally Cool did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment.

Consumers who bought any of the recalled ice cream products are being urged to return the items for a full refund. Affected products can be identified using the date and plant codes printed on the product labels.

Chipwich said in a statement on its website that its parent company, Crave Better Foods LLC, “maintains and operates a small, separate production line” at the same Maryland facility as Totally Cool.

Chipwich called the recall “unfortunate” and said it was “taken out of an abundance of caution and care for the product and its loyal fans.”

Hershey’s Ice Cream said it has stopped sales of potentially impacted products following the recall from its manufacturing partner, Totally Cool. Hershey’s also asked consumers and dealers to throw away any possibly contaminated items they already had on hand.

The FDA says Listeria monocytogenes can lead to serious and occasionally fatal infections in young children, elderly people and anyone with a weakened immune system. Pregnant people infected with listeria can also suffer miscarriages or stillbirths.

Healthy people who eat food contaminated with the bacteria may experience a milder illness with symptoms including high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, the agency said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,600 people are infected with listeriosis each year, and an estimated 260 of them die.

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