Extreme Foods

Family finds catheter in tub of ice cream, requires testing for hepatitis, HIV

A family from Trois-Rivières, Quebec, is having quite the health scare after finding a urinary catheter in their store-bought ice cream.

The family members had reportedly gathered to celebrate the arrival of a baby boy, purchasing a sealed container of Coaticook-brand ice cream for the occasion. After digging in, family patriarch and new grandfather Jean Francoeur spit out what appeared to be a small section of catheter, reports La Presse.

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Two other members of the family — including Francoeur’s son Samuel, who had just welcomed the baby with his wife, and Samuel’s mother-in-law, Carol-Anne Christofferson — had also eaten the chocolate-pecan ice cream. But unlike Francoeur, neither had bit into any foreign objects.

"He put it in his mouth and found the tip of syringe," said Christofferson in an interview with the CBC’s Radio-Canada.

Upon closer inspection, the family also noticed something dark at one end of the catheter, but couldn’t confirm what it was. They phoned a nurse, who advised them to seek immediate treatment at a hospital.

Christofferson said the three family members gave blood samples, and each received preventative treatment for HIV and hepatitis A, B and C. She also told La Presse they wouldn’t have the complete results for six months. In the meantime, Samuel and Christofferson must submit to testing every month, and Francoeur every week. He’s also been taking oral medication.

"He's the worst off, the most affected," said Christofferson. "He's not even able to speak about it."

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Jean Provencher, the owner of Coaticook ice cream, has since told Radio-Canada that their products are safe to consume, despite the incident.

"We have so many internal controls here and in food production in general that having something like that show up in a food item, it's not normal," said Provencher.

Provencher also confirmed that Coaticook will be conducting an internal investigation. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also investigating after having visited the production facilities on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear if the Francoeur of Christofferson families plan to sue, though they have filed a complaint against Coaticook.

The Francoeur family or a representative for Coaticook was not immediately available for comment.