Nestle Drumstick Ice Cream Cones Recalled Due to Potential Listeria Contamination

Late Friday night, Nestle USA initiated a recall of its Drumstick Club 16 Count Variety and 24 Count Vanilla Pack due to the possible presence of Listeria in the ice cream cones. The ice cream cones involved in the recall were distributed nationally and “marked for easy individual sale,” according to the company’s press release. Both pack sizes contain 4.6 oz. cones manufactured in Bakersfield, California.

Equipment contact surfaces from a location on the production line where the drumsticks are made tested positive for Listeria; however, there have been no positive test results for Listeria present in the product itself. “The products impacted by the voluntary recall were put into distribution inadvertently,” Nestle USA stated.

Recalled Product Details

Two items are subject to recall:

The first, Nestle Drumstick Cones Club Pack (16 x 4.6 oz.) are labelled with UPC code 72554-11096 and “Best Before Dates” of 2 June – 15 June 2017. The product identification codes, which may be found on the back of the packages, affected by the recall are as follows: 6244580212, 6245580212, 6246580212, 6247580212, 6248580212, 6249580212, 6250580212, 6251580212, 6252580212, 6253580212, 6254580212, 6255580212, 6256580212, and 6257580212.

The second affected product, the Nestle Drumstick Vanilla Cones (24 x 4.6 oz.) are labelled with UPC code 72554-00160 and “Best Before Dates” of 16 June – 19 June 2017. The product identification code may be found on the back of the packaging as well as on the back of the individual cone packaging for the Vanilla Drumsticks. The affected codes include 6258580212, 6259580212, 6260580212, and 6261580212.

“Human Error” Leads to Release of Contaminated Product

Nestle has in place a “test and hold” program, meaning that test results for products are obtained prior to the product being shipped out. In this case, the company correctly identified the potential contamination through its own testing protocol. “Unfortunately,” the company states, “a human error occurred in logging receipt of the test result and the product in question was inadvertently shipped to retailers.” The company discovered the error during a later review of records; upon identifying the error, Nestle notified the FDA and initiated the recall.

Contrast this with another ice cream recall that occurred last week. Blue Bell, which pulled all of its products from the shelves in the summer of 2015, initiated a recall of two flavors of ice cream last week. In that case, the ice cream recalled had already passed the test and hold program (with negative results). However, an ingredient used in that ice cream – which had already shipped and was on retail shelves – tested positive for Listeria in another of the company’s plants. Determining that the ingredient, not environmental factors at the plant, were at fault, Blue Bell recalled all of the ice cream that incorporated the ingredient from that supplier, which it clearly indicated was responsible for the recall.

Nestle directly addresses concerns that this is “another Blue Bell situation with listeria in ice cream”:

Each recall has its own unique facts. Except for the coincidence that our recall involved both ice cream and listeria, our situation is much different from Blue Bell’s in a number of significant ways, including: (1) we have received no reports of human illnesses; (2) we have no listeria findings in the ice cream itself (just the equipment); (3) we have only one product line affected; (4) we have only one facility affected; and (5) we self-identified this event and took precautionary steps to recall product.

According to the company, perhaps the only thing customers should be concerned about is a temporary shortage of the product.

If you or a family member became ill have been diagnosed with Listeria and you would like to explore pursuing a legal claim, contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer at Ron Simon & Associates for a free case evaluation by calling 1-888-335-4901 or filling out our free case evaluation form. The Listeria Attorneys at Ron Simon & Associates have represented victims in past Listeria outbreaks, including the Blue Bell outbreak in 2015.