Seattle Times JoNel Aleccia reports that Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream failed a health inspection more than two months before it was shut down last week when two cases of Listeria poisoning were linked by state officials to the Snohomish plant.
Among the problems noted in October: deteriorating floors; excessive dust and “dried, flaking residue” on parts of the pasteurizer vat; “black residue” on metal carts; mold on a bucket used to collect water; standing water in a walk-in cooler; flies; and male workers without facial-hair protection.
The plant, which typically sends 1,000 gallons a day of ice cream, sorbet and gelato to Whole Foods, Fred Meyer, Molly Moon, Seattle’s Space Needle and others, was shut down last week, after the Listeria illnesses were confirmed in two King County men.
The closure followed a Dec. 15 inspection that found “white grime” on fan grates, “black slime” outside a walk-in cooler, and “black build up and hairlike growth” on multiple milk crates used to store utensils and that were within 5 feet of an ice-cream pint filler.
The recalled products are labeled Snoqualmie Ice Cream, Snoqualmie Gelato, Snoqualmie Custard, Snoqualmie Sorbet or Emerald & Spruce Ice Cream or Top Pot Hand Forged Ice Cream. The bottoms of the containers bear production-date codes. The codes for the recalled products either end in the number 4 or contain the actual date of manufacture.