December 17, 2017

Blue Bell Recalls ALL Ice Cream Products: More Listeria

Blue Bell Creameries has recalled all of its ice cream products today after two more samples tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The company issued the recall today on its web site. The recall covers ice cream made at all of its facilities.

Vanilla Ice Cream FPBThe recall is for all Blue Bell ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks currently for sale. The products are distributed to retail outlets, food service accounts, convenience stores, and supermarkets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming, and international locations.

An enhanced sampling program that was initiated by Blue Bell found that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons made on March 17, 2015 were contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. There have been several positive tests for Listeria monocytogenes in different plants and in different places within those plants. Originally the company thought the contamination was occurring on just one machine in one plant. The company has three plants: in Brenham, Texas; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and Sylacauga, Alabama.

 

Blue Bell ice cream is linked to a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has sickened at least eight people in two states and killed three. The CDC’s last update was on April 8, 2015. At that time, the government recommended that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell products made at the Oklahoma facility.

Please check your freezer. If you have any Blue Bell product, throw it away in a double bagged container. Then clean out your freezer, wiping down products with a  sponge or paper towel dampened with a mild bleach solution, and wash the inside of the freezer along with the handle. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can grow at temperatures down to 0°F in some cases. Wash your hands thoroughly after you handle the product.

If you have eaten Blue Bell Creameries products, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks, and have experienced the symptoms of a Listeria infection, see your doctor immediately. These infections can be serious, especially for pregnant women, who can suffer miscarriage and stillbirth; for the very young, for the elderly, and for those who have chronic diseases and weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of listeriosis include flu-like fever, muscle aches, upset stomach, diarrhea, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance, confusion, or convulsions. Early treatment is essential for the most positive outcome. If the illness is not treated, it can progress to Listeria meningitis, which is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.

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