Listeria Outbreak in Stone Fruit and Ice Cream

HMC Farms, Signature Farms and Wilcox Ice Cream are recalling products for consumer safety.

November 22, 2023

Two different companies have recalled products that may be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes Listeriosis. Products being recalled include conventional (non-organic) peaches, plums and nectarines, as well as all flavors of Wilcox brand ice cream, yogurt and ice cream bars in addition to Leonardo’s brand gelato.

The stone fruit being recalled were sold in-store from May 1, 2022, through November 15, 2022, and from May 1, 2023, through November 15, 2023. The recalled fruit was sold at retail stores nationwide in bags or as individual pieces with PLU stickers, under multiple brand names, including HMC Farms and Signature Farms. Additionally, the recalled fruit was sold to other manufacturers who may have frozen and/or relabeled the recalled fruit for resale under another brand.

The recalled fruit is past expiration and no longer available for sale in retail stores but could have been frozen by consumers. Fresh whole peaches, plums and nectarines currently available for sale at retail are not included in the recall.

As of the last sample collection, 11 cases have been recorded from the stone fruit outbreak. Of those, 10 were hospitalized and one person died.

After being notified by the Vermont Department of Agriculture on November 14, 2023, that one lot of the Super Premium Mint Chip ice cream manufactured that day may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, Wilcox Ice Cream of East Arlington, Vermont, is recalling all flavors of Wilcox brand ice cream, yogurt and ice cream bars, as well as Leonardo’s brand gelato. /

Ice cream products were distributed in retail stores and Co-Ops located in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. To date, no illnesses or injuries have been reported. 

As part of the investigation, the company determined that preliminary testing showed that the ice cream mix purchased to make its products may contain Listeria monocytogenes.

Consumers that take a picture of the top and sides of the container showing the best by date may email Wilcox Ice Cream for credit. They do not need to return the ice cream to the store.

The recalls show that the importance of food safety is paramount: Outbreaks affect not only individual brands but the entire industry, whether packaged items, produce or foodservice, which comprises about 26% of in-store sales.

To help you better understand how to meet this consumer demand, NACS has developed a brand-new online training series. Retail operators can now earn a Certified Convenience Foodservice Management (CCFM) designation by completing a 10-course online training series which tackles the key aspects of developing and growing a successful foodservice offer.