Aspen Hills, a cookie dough manufacturer, has ceased production about five months after Blue Bell Ice Cream products containing its dough were recalled because of a listeria concern.
In late 2016, Blue Bell found traces of listeria in products made with dough from Aspen Hills. Last October, Blue Bell voluntarily recalled all products that were made with the cookie dough ingredient as Aspen Hills issued its own recall. No cases of illness linked to the ice cream have been reported.
Aspen Hill spokesman Jon Austin told Fortune at the time that the manufacturer sent a recall notice to approximately 27 companies, affecting around 22,000 cases of cookie dough that had been distributed between July 15 and Sept. 30.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had inspected Aspen Hill’s facility last fall and found traces of listeria. A spokesperson from the FDA told Fortune on Tuesday that “FDA laboratory analyses of collected samples found the presence of Listeria … and investigators observed serious violations, which included a determination that some products at the facility were adulterated.”
The FDA issued a warning letter to Aspen Hill on Jan. 10, which outlined a series of actions to correct the violations that were found. “The presence of [Listeria] monocytogenes in your facility is significant because it demonstrates your cleaning and sanitation practices are inadequate to effectively control pathogens in your facility to prevent contamination of food,” the letter read. Aspen Hills owners Thomas and Nancy Lundeen were given 15 working days to respond.
Now the Lundeens have ceased production altogether. In a prepared statement to Fortune, Aspen Hills’ Jon Austin said: “After much consideration, our owners have decided to end their involvement in the company and are actively looking to wind up their affairs through a sale or other orderly disposition. While that process is underway, we have ceased production as of the end of December.”
However, according to Austin, Aspen Hills, remains “committed to addressing any questions raised by the FDA so that the agency can be assured that our commitment to the safety and wholesomeness of our products even as we exit the market.” Austin added that the company appreciated the “partnership and professionalism” of the FDA’s personnel throughout the process.
A spokesperson from Blue Bell told Fortune, “We think it is an unfortunate situation, but we can’t speak for what other companies are doing. We are focused on making sure that we are producing safe, high quality ice cream for our consumers to enjoy.”