In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a report on its findings from inspections and environmental sampling forListeria monocytogenes and Salmonella at 89 ice production facilities in 32 states from September 2016 through August 2017.
Between 2013 and 2016 there were 16 recalls of ice cream products contaminated with pathogens and an outbreak of listeriosis at an ice cream manufacturer which prompted the FDA to begin sampling. In almost half of the ice cream production facilities studied, no unacceptable conditions or practices were observed. The FDA found Listeria monocytogenes in 19 of the facilities, but only one had the pathogen on a food contact surface. The FDA also detected Salmonella in one facility.
In the report from April 2019, the FDA clarified that the investigation was not conducted in accordance with the Preventive Controls rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). However, the officials acknowledged that their recent findings “underscore the need” for facilities to develop and implement stricter food safety plans that control foreseeable hazards.
The FDA researchers concluded that “Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella are examples of hazards that a company, when identified in a food safety plan, would need to minimize through preventive controls and verify that their controls work,”
To aid artisanal ice cream producers, Tentamus Group GmbH has developed a new guideline describing rules for good hygiene practices for craft ice cream manufacturers such as ice-cream parlors (“Gelateria”), confectioners, and restaurants. The guideline also contains a template for HACCP based procedures as well as numerous aids such as example hygiene plans, checklists, and documentation templates.
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