A Vermont-based ice cream company is removing dozens of products from store shelves because they may be contaminated with listeria. Wilcox Ice Cream recalled all flavors of Wilcox brand ice cream, yogurt and ice cream bars, as well as Leonardo’s brand ice cream after tests showed contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States.
Issued on November 18, the recall affects a variety of ice cream products and flavors, including the Wilcox Premium line of products (packaged in yellow containers), the Wilcox SUPER PREMIUM line of products (packaged in containers with a photo of ‘an ice cream truck), Wilcox’s Premium Yogurt line (packaged in beige containers), Wilcox Ice Cream 802 ice cream bars, Leonardo’s ice cream pints and 4 oz. The recalled products have an expiration date between September 13, 2024 and September 15, 2024 and were distributed to retail stores and co-ops in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. The expiration dates for all products can be found either on the sticker or on the side of the package, with the FDA noting that all products are packaged in different sizes and in various packages. The full list of recalled products, along with identifying characteristics, can be found here.
The recall was issued after the New Hampshire Department of Health notified the Vermont Department of Agriculture on Nov. 14 that a routine sample taken from Super Premium Mint Chocolate Chips manufactured on Sept. 15 s was found to be positive for Listeria monocytogenes. An investigation determined that “preliminary testing has shown that ice cream mix purchased to make our products may contain Listeria monocytogenes,” the bacteria that can cause Listeria infection.
Listeria is a bacterial foodborne illness that is commonly caused by eating poorly processed, unpasteurized deli meats and dairy products. Although healthy people rarely become ill from Listeria infection, it can be very serious for pregnant women, young children, the frail or elderly, and others with weakened immune systems. . Listeria can cause high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In some cases this can be fatal.
“Listeriosis can cause serious health problems,” Patricia Tilley, director of the DHHS Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), said in a statement. “Contaminated food may not look, smell or taste any different, so there is no way to know if listeriosis is present.”
Wilcox Ice Cream and health officials have advised consumers not to eat the recalled ice cream products. Consumers who purchased the recalled products should instead throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers can also take a photo of the top and sides of the container showing the expiration date and email the images to AR@wilcoxicecreamvt.com for credit.