Listeria Sighting Causes Nestle Drumstick Recall: What Is Listeria? How To Identify Affected Ice Cream Treats

Listeria sightings have reportedly led to a nationwide recall launched by Nestle USA, Inc.

According to the recall posted on the official Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, the product targeted by this major safety alert is the popular Nestle drumstick ice cream treat.

The Nestle drumstick recall notice further states that an undisclosed number of ice cream Drumstick cones were distributed after the Listeria was discovered. According to the report, Listeria monocytogenes were sighted in the company's production plant located in Bakersfield, California.

However, Nestle made it clear within the recall statement that the Listeria monocytogenes were not discovered in the actual ice cream cones.

"There have been no positive test results for LM (Listeria monocytogenes) present in the Drumstick cones themselves... The products impacted by the voluntary recall were put into distribution inadvertently."
Have there been any illness reported by customers that may have purchased one of the affected Nestle drumstick packages? The recall notice states that "no illnesses have been reported" as of yet. This recall was apparently issued as a "precautionary action to avoid any potential for consumer illness."

What Exactly is Listeria?

The fact that a nationwide recall has been launched by Nestle in response to Listeria sightings more than likely raises red flags for skeptical consumers - especially the family shoppers that purchase these treats frequently for their children. However, what exactly is Listeria?

According to the Food Poison Journal, Listeria is a food borne disease-causing bacteria.

"Listeria can travel through the bloodstream but the bacteria are often found inside cells. Listeria also produces toxins that damages cells. Listeria invades and grows best in the central nervous system among immune-compromised persons, causing meningitis and/or encephalitis (brain infection.)"
Pregnant women are also at great risk if they are exposed to Listeria. Reports show that Listeria can infect a pregnant woman's fetus - leading to blood infections during infancy or even stillbirths and spontaneous abortions.

After you eat something contaminated with Listeria, a timeline of between one and eight weeks usually passes before the illness emerges. Within only 21 days of ingestion, though, Listeria gains full access to your entire body and may possibly reach your eyes, heart, and central nervous system.

Symptoms of people infected by Listeria vary depending on the extent of the damage done. For example, the common symptoms of Listeriosis include nausea, diarrhea, muscle aches and fever. However, if the infection makes its way to a person's nervous system, the symptoms intensify and can include the following.
  • loss of balance
  • stiff neck and headaches
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • decreased level of consciousness
If you have consumed any foods contaminated with Listeria (or even possibly exposed to Listeria, such as the recalled Nestle drumsticks) it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How to Identify Affected Packages

How can consumers identify the Nestle ice cream treats affected by this nationwide recall? If you have a pack of Nestle drumsticks in your freezer, look on the back of the package. There is an identification code located near the bottom of the box. You can also found the identification codes on the individually marked cones found in the 24-count pack of vanilla Nestle drumsticks.

According to the recall notice, the two packs affected by the recall have distinct UPC codes along with a production code and "best before" date.

For instance, with the Nestle brand Drumsticks variety pack (UPC code 72554-11096) that has "best before date" range of June 2-15, 2017, here is a list of the applicable production codes affected by the recall.

  • 6244580212
  • 6245580212
  • 6246580212
  • 6247580212
  • 6248580212
  • 6249580212
  • 6250580212
  • 6251580212
  • 6252580212
  • 6253580212
  • 6254580212
  • 6255580212
  • 6256580212
  • 6257580212
There is also a short list of targeted production codes for the DSTK Vanilla 24x4.6 fl oz US package of these Nestle ice cream treats. The UPC code is 72554-00160 and the "best before date" range of June 16-19, 2017.
  • 6258580212
  • 6259580212
  • 6260580212
  • 6261580212
In addition to warning customers not to consume the affected Nestle drumstick treats, the recall notice encourages them to also return the products "to the place of purchase or contact Nestle Consumer Services for replacement."

[Featured Image by digitalreflections/]