Real Kosher Ice Cream, a Brooklyn-based ice cream company, has issued a recall of all flavors of its soft serve ice cream and sorbet brand. This action came after two people who consumed the company’s vanilla chocolate flavor fell ill and were hospitalized. Health officials suspect that these illnesses may be linked to listeria, a type of bacteria that can cause serious sickness in older individuals and lead to miscarriages and premature births in pregnant women.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Real Kosher Ice Cream announced the immediate recall of all six flavors of its Soft Serve on the Go Cups. The company notified all retailers to remove the products from shelves and dispose of them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also released an alert regarding a potential listeria outbreak associated with the Soft Serve on the Go Cups.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that their investigation into the outbreak is ongoing. The recall affects 19 states and the District of Columbia, as well as distribution in other countries such as Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Britain.
Ari Klein, one of the owners of Real Kosher Ice Cream, expressed the company’s cooperation with health officials to determine the cause of the illnesses. Despite the illnesses being linked to only one flavor, the company voluntarily recalled the entire line. Klein emphasized the company’s commitment to doing the right thing, citing their status as a family-owned business rather than a large corporation.
Real Kosher Ice Cream clarified that its other products, including frozen pizzas and frozen fruit, were manufactured in a different facility and were not affected by the recall. The CDC issued a warning on its official Instagram page advising the public not to consume Soft Serve on the Go Cups.
The recall was prompted by two customers, one in Pennsylvania and one in New York, who were hospitalized between May and June after consuming Soft Serve on the Go vanilla chocolate ice cream. Traces of listeria were found in samples of the ice cream from one of the sick individuals. However, it is still uncertain whether this strain of listeria is the same as the one causing the current outbreak. No deaths have been reported so far.
Listeria outbreaks in the United States are not uncommon, with previous incidents associated with contaminated deli meat, cheeses, and other retail ice cream brands. Health officials stated that symptoms of listeria can occur within a few hours or up to three days after consuming contaminated food.
Soft Serve on the Go products are sold in clear eight-ounce cups and come in several flavors, including vanilla chocolate, caramel, peanut butter ice cream, and strawberry mango sorbet. Real Kosher Ice Cream plans to clearly label future versions of their products to assure customers of their safety based on guidance from health officials.
In addition to Soft Serve on the Go, Real Kosher produces seven other brands, including their signature ice cream brand, Klein’s, and Chevra, a line of frozen pizzas.