You should probably just stop eating ice cream for a little bit

And you thought developing lactose intolerance was the biggest risk of eating ice cream.


Jaya Saxena


Published Apr 23, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 12:06 am CDT

Maybe you should just give up ice cream for a while. Today, Ohio favorite Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream announced a voluntary recall of their products due to the discovery of Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample. 

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You may be thinking “Oh well, this happens from time to time,” before you throw out those pints you spend $12 on and move on with your life. However, three days ago Blue Bell ice cream also issued a voluntary recall for the exact same reason. Sorry, everyone: Ice cream is trying to kill you.

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So, what is Listeria monocytogenes? According to Jeni’s:

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals infected by Listeria may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, infected pregnant women can suffer miscarriages or stillbirths.

Well, then. 

L. monocytogenes is often associated with raw milk products, soft cheeses and ice cream, though it can be found in raw meats and vegetables as well. Jeni’s says it’s not aware of any illnesses as a result of consumption of their products, but four patients in a Kansas hospital were served Blue Bell products at the hospital.

Naturally, everyone in the Midwest is freaking out about the recall of the exorbitantly priced gourmet ice cream: 

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There is one natural conclusion to draw from this: L. monocytogenes is in all the ice cream now, everywhere, forever, even the freeze-dried astronaut ice cream. It’s been a good run, everyone! Now quick, eat all those Thin Mints in your freezer before they come for those too. 

Photo via Stu Spivack/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Apr 23, 2015, 6:52 pm CDT