ROSSI’S is recalling 100 litres of its rum and raisin flavour ice cream and temporarily stopped production at its factory after random testing found “signs of listeria”.

The iconic brand’s factory in Rochford, in Purdeys Way, has halted production while testing takes place after a random sample of the rum and raisin flavour was flagged as potentially containing the harmful bacteria.

Owner James Sinclair confirmed to the Echo that 100 litres that had already entered distribution will be recalled, while 200 litres which were still in the factory will be destroyed.

Listeria can cause potentially serious illness as a result of listeriosis, which is a particular threat to pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

Mr Sinclair is adamant that the company will “find out how it got through and how it happened to make sure it never happens again”.

He said: “This was regarding one flavour, rum and raisin.

“We send off random samples to an independent tester every month, it came back showing signs of listeria.

“It is about 300 litres we are recalling, it was only made three weeks ago.

“Of that 300 a lot of it is still in stocks and is being destroyed, 200 is being destroyed and 100 litres is in circulation.

“What we are now doing is retesting our factory, we won’t produce anything as it must be an ingredient, maybe the rum or the raisin or the paste.

“We will wait for the results and we are waiting for all to be tested, the factory is tested every day regardless.”

He added that the company “will address it and go through all due diligence, this will take a few days”.

Mr Sinclair said: “We produce thousands of litres a week of vanilla but rum and raisin is produced once every two and a half months, each vat holds 600 litres.

“It is in small production because it is a small seller.”

Mr Sinclair insisted this “will not happen again”, and the firm will “find out how it happened and make sure it never happens again”.

“This is one flavour and a small batch,” he added.