Safety Alert

Uncooked ingredients targeted by the FDA.
The industry has been busy with reports of potentially serious ramifications for the newest, most popular ice cream flavors. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) is informing the retail and foodservice sectors that incorporating an ingredient intended to be cooked into a ready-to-eat food that will not be cooked or otherwise treated to eliminate microorganisms of public health concern can pose a serious food safety risk.
A recent multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium has been linked to consumption of “cake batter” ice cream. The FDA is alerting processors that Salmonella is known to occasionally be present in flour and other non-animal foods such as barley, cereal powder and yeast. For these reasons, the organization is asking foodservice operations to review their menus for these types of products and to either work with their suppliers to ensure all ingredients are intended to be ready-to-eat or to process their final products to eliminate microorganisms of public health concern. Also, routine precautionary measures should also be taken to prevent cross-contamination from raw products and surfaces that have not been adequately cleaned and sanitized.
During the past two months, health and agriculture officials investigated a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis related to an ice cream product. The following states have had laboratory confirmed Salmonella Typhimurium illness cases: Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan and California. A case in Illinois was confirmed but is counted in Virginia because that is where the person ate the ice cream.
Ice cream parlor chain Cold Stone Creamery recently recalled its Cake Batter Ice Cream. No other flavors of ice cream have been associated with illness to date. FDA officials have confirmed the sweet cream ice cream base was pasteurized and the dry cake mix that was added to the ice cream base was labeled by the manufacturer a baking mix. All recipe variations included instructions for baking.
This Cake Batter Ice Cream was prepared in foodservice establishments by adding dry cake mix to a pasteurized sweet cream base, a combination which did not undergo additional processing prior to freezing. Dry cake mix is a product that has been designed to be rehydrated and then cooked. Dry cake mix should not be considered a ready-to-eat food because it has not been processed to ensure that pathogens have been destroyed or reduced in numbers to an acceptable level. Ready-to-eat foods are typically processed to ensure that they are safe to consume without further cooking. Similar products, such as “cookie dough” ice creams and “cake mix” milk shakes, could also pose a serious food safety risk if they are prepared with ingredients that are intended to be cooked.  
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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