By Thomas Palchak, Penn State
Action augments police investigation into isolated incidents of foreign objects found in ice cream
UNIVERSITY PARK – Erring on the side of caution and safety for the consuming public, the University Creamery at Penn State is voluntarily recalling all ice cream and frozen yogurt made between May 16, 2012, and Aug. 11, 2012, because of isolated incidents involving reports of small plastic foreign objects in the product. The recalled ice cream was manufactured and sold from the Berkey Creamery on the University Park campus of Penn State and also was available for purchase on the Internet from the Creamery’s website.
In mid-August, University police began a criminal investigation into several isolated incidents involving reports of small foreign objects in ice cream manufactured by the University Creamery on the University Park campus. The Creamery has received three reports of consumers finding small plastic pieces in the ice cream, specifically, three small pieces of plastic less than 21 mm (about .82 inches) in size.
While the reports have only related to half-gallon containers, the Creamery is extending the recall to cover all ice cream and frozen yogurt in all container sizes made during the time period listed above. Ice cream subject to the recall will bear a BEST IF USED BY date on the label falling on or between Feb. 10, 2013, and Aug. 11, 2013. Consumers who have purchased ice cream covered by this recall are urged to not eat the ice cream and to return any product subject to the recall to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange. Consumers with questions may contact the Creamery at 1-855-677-0464 (toll-free).
No illnesses or injuries have been reported in connection with this situation. Anyone that believes they may have ingested an object should immediately consult a healthcare professional.
“The safety of the public is our No. 1 concern,” said Tom Palchak, Creamery manager. “Although by all accounts these appear to be isolated incidents, they are troubling to say the least. We have a longstanding reputation for safety at the Creamery and a product that consumers trust. We are erring on the side of caution with this recall and in taking the actions we are taking to prevent any recurrence.”
An independent investigation of the reports of foreign objects conducted for the Creamery, while not conclusive, suggests that the objects did not enter the ice cream during the manufacturing process. The Creamery has extended the recall to cover not only the dates when the ice cream was made that were subject to the reports, but to also include all ice cream made during a buffer period after the last known production date, up to the point when the Creamery instituted enhanced security measures to protect against the chances of undetected objects being placed in the ice cream. These measures include limiting access to production and packaging areas, increased surveillance systems, purchase of an X-ray device and metal detectors, and notification of ingredient suppliers. In the near future, the Creamery also will move to a tamper-resistant packaging solution.
This recall is being conducted with the full knowledge of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).