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Jeni’s thaws production freeze, resumes making ice cream

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams shops are set to reopen on May 22 at 7 p.m. Operations were suspended after a listeria contamination was discovered in April, resulting in the company voluntarily recalling its ice cream. Credit: Alaina Bartel / Lantern Reporter

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ production kitchen in Columbus has resumed operations after a listeria contamination was discovered in April, resulting in the company voluntarily recalling its ice cream.

Jeni’s was making caramel from scratch Thursday morning for its Salty Caramel ice cream, according to a statement from the company released Thursday.

The company also stated doors will reopen in scoop shops in Ohio, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tenn. and Charleston, S.C. by Memorial Day weekend, according to the release.

The company’s website states shops will open on May 22, at 7 p.m., with multiple ice cream flavors for sale.

“We are so excited to be making ice cream again and can’t wait to share it with all of you,” Jeni’s founder Jeni Britton Bauer said Thursday in a statement published on the company’s website. “But, I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bumpy road getting back up, and there were times we didn’t know if we were going to make it.”

The company announced April 23 it would recall ice cream and close its shops after the Nebraska Department of Agriculture discovered a Listeria monocytogenes contamination in a randomly collected sample, a press release from the company stated.

Jeni’s is now working with Smith’s, a dairy in Orville, Ohio, according to the company’s website.

“Meanwhile, in our kitchen, things are moving a bit slower than what we are used to and a bit more methodically,” the statement said.

This announcement comes three days after the company posted on Facebook that the company had removed walls, installed a conveyor belt, as well as foot spraying stations with antibacterial foam in the company’s production kitchen.

“We plan to fire this baby up by the end of the week,” the Facebook post stated.

Jeni’s estimated the transformation of their kitchen would cost $200,000, according to a May 6 release.

“We will spend whatever it takes,” the release stated.

The company planned to destroy more than 535,000 pounds of ice cream and estimated the recall would cost more than $2.5 million, according to an April 28 release.

But now, Jeni’s said it is preparing to start serving its customers again.

“Ohio is a community of people who stick together. I have always known that,” Thursday’s release stated. “And throughout these past three weeks that has been proven especially true, especially in the realm of dairy and ice cream.”

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