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Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Locates "Smoking Gun" In Listeria Outbreak

The Ohio ice cream company announced in April that it was recalling all of its products after the potentially potentially deadly bacterium in some samples.

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In a statement on the company's website, CEO John Lowe said the company had identified the "smoking gun":

"We can now say that we believe we located the smoking gun. Our swab testing found Listeria on the spout of one of our production machines. It is a machine we use to fill a portion of our pints. The machine was not used to fill buckets that we scoop from in our shops, but we are nonetheless continuing with our plan to dispose of all of those buckets."

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Lowe said the company is preparing to spend $200,000 to transform its kitchen and had enlisted "top food safety experts."

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"To help determine the ongoing effectiveness of these controls, we are implementing an aggressive environmental testing and sampling program—including a regular swab-testing regime to ensure the complete elimination of Listeria," he wrote.

If consumed, the bacteria commonly referred to as listeria can cause listeriosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of the potentially lethal disease include fever and muscle aches. Children, pregnant women, and those with weaker immune systems are most susceptible to the disease.

On April 23, the ice cream company said in a statement that it had "initiated a voluntary recall of all ice creams, frozen yogurts, sorbets, and ice cream sandwiches for all flavors and containers because of the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes."

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream was established in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio, and now operates in Cleveland, Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, Charleston, and Los Angeles.

According to the April 23 statement, the Jeni's "ice creams, frozen yogurts, sorbets, ice cream sandwiches being recalled were distributed in the United States to retail outlets, including food service accounts and grocery markets."

Jeni's also temporarily ceased sales of its online products and any other offerings bearing the "Jeni's" name.

In recent months, listeria contaminations have caused the recall of various food products across the country. On April 9, Sabra Dipping Co. recalled 30,000 cases of its popular hummus over a possible listeria presence.

The same day, the CDC connected a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis to Blue Bell Ice Cream distribution after the company recalled several of its products on March 20.

On April 20, Blue Bell recalled all of its products.

Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.

Contact Tamerra Griffin at tamerra.griffin@buzzfeed.com.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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