Nestle Recalls Ice Cream Cones

Nestle is recalling Drumstick ice cream cones because of Listeria concerns. The company posted a recall notice on its website:

Nestle Drumsticks

After the introductory paragraph and explanation of product types recalled, the press release provides a Q&A. Questions include where Listeria was found (on equipment, not on the product itself), symptoms of Listeria, how the problem will be prevented in the future, etc.

The list includes two bold questions:

  • "Why did it take so long for you to find this?"
  • "This sounds like another Blue Bell situation with listeria in ice cream. Is your situation the same as theirs was?"

In response to the first question, the company wrote, "Unfortunately, an error occurred in logging receipt of the test result. We discovered the error during a subsequent review of records. As soon as we identified the error, we notified FDA and initiated the recall."

To the second question, the response is, "No. Each recall has its own unique facts. Except for the coincidence that our recall involved both ice cream and listeria, our situation is much different from Blue Bell's in a number of significant ways, including: (1) we have no listeria findings in the ice cream itself (just the equipment); (2) we have only one product line affected; (3) we have only one facility affected; and (4) we self-identified this event and took precautionary steps to recall product."

Discussion Starters:

  • The two questions identified here are risky. Explain the risks and why the company may have chosen to include the questions.
  • How do you assess the question about Blue Bell? How does the response help, instead of hurt, Nestle's image?