The Charleston outpost of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream has reopened after a month of being closed, following news that some ice cream had been contaminated with the harmful bacteria listeria.
After Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream discovered Listeria in the kitchens at a corporate factory, the Charleston store and the six other stores in the country shut down as the company tackled this issue. During the ice cream recall, Jeni’s completely closed down the headquarter’s kitchen where all of their ice cream was made, and it is now undergoing renovation not only to eliminate the source of the bacteria, but also to implement new hygienic processes to help streamline the flow of the kitchen. In their press releases, they assure the public that they are going “above and beyond” FDA regulations in order to make sure that listeria will not be an issue again.
On May 7 Eater published an article explaining the source of the outbreak — a pint-filling machine in the company’s Ohio production facility. Jeni’s press releases state that they destroyed 265 tons of their ice cream in an anaerobic digester that will convert the dairy into electricity and a natural soil fertilizer. That sounds like pretty sweet side effect to what must have been a huge financial blow for the company. “Team members” (a.k.a. employees) were paid partial pay during the period the shops were closed: 25 percent for employees in scoop shops, who Jeni’s claims are mostly part-time, and 50 percent for kitchen employees who are mostly full-time.
Jeni’s digital director Ryan Morgan says that he doesn’t think that any employees left their jobs during the period that the shops were closed. “Not only did we have zero layoffs, we were able to provide partial pay for those who were unable to work, which our team appreciated. And we had partners of ours, like Val Jorgensen of Jorgensen Farms—who grows our mint — step up and offer full-time work to our employees while they were unable to work for us,” he says.
The reopening for all of the locations was set for May 22 at 7 p.m., with regular store hours to follow. New sundaes are being offered, including one called The Charleston with Sweet Cream ice cream, salty caramel sauce, blackstrap molasses, and Virginia peanuts. The Charleston store location could not comment on its reopening, but Ryan Morgan says the reopening was a success. “We had lines out the door of every single one of our shops across the country that opened on [last] Friday night. It was a tremendous show of community support and a testament to the strong relationships we have built with our customers over the past 13 years,” he says.