Helados La Tapatia recalls ice cream products

FRESNO, Calif.

The parking lot at Helados La Tapatia was still busy Thursday, but employees aren't churning out ice cream, popsicles and fruit bars for the time being.

Federal inspectors spotted bacterial contamination on some food processing equipment and the company issued a voluntary recall.

Listeria is often associated with fruits, like the strawberries used for these desserts, and it can survive in frozen temperatures.

The Fresno County Department of Public Health doesn't know of anyone getting sick from these products yet, but it can take days before the bacteria lets your body know it's there.

"There are symptoms that can give you some signs as to whether or not you might have a problem such as fatigue, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea," said Stephanie Kahl, a spokesperson for the department.

We found the products removed from some store shelves, but still present in some coolers. This store removed the bars after our visit. County health officials say it often takes a few days for distributors to remove all the recalled products.

Listeria is especially dangerous for elderly people, young kids, and especially pregnant women. Healthy adults can often consume it without much trouble, but once you come in contact with the bacteria, you can pass it on.

"It isn't contagious, but if you did have contamination on your hands, you could potentially spread it to someone else," Kahl said.

Managers at Helados La Tapatia said they didn't have time for an interview Thursday, but told Action News they hired a cleaning service this week to make sure the bacteria is gone.

Inspectors were back at the production site on Wednesday to check for listeria. The results of their examination should be back early next week and the company hopes to resume production right after that.

Complete list of recalled products with UCP numbers (PDF)

Photos of labels

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a recall of several products produced by Helados La Tapatia, Inc. which are made in Fresno. The products were sold in Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Guam and Canada in retails stores under the brand names of Helados La Tapatia and Icesations.

So far, no illnesses have been reported, but the recall was the result of a routine inspection by the FDA. The FDA said the presence of the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria was found on some the food processing equipment.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Consumers who have purchased the Helados La Tapatia or Icesations products are urged to return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-559-441-1105 Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. (PDT); Saturday, 9:00a.m.- 5:00p.m. (PDT). After March 20, 2014, a toll free number (1-855-893-1171) will be available.

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