July 20, 2019

Listeria Outbreak Prompts Kroger to Pull Blue Bell Products

Kroger has pulled recalled Blue Bell products from its stores after they were linked to a Listeria outbreak that sickened five people at Via Christi  hospital in Wichita. The company is also using its recall notification system to warn customers of the problem.

Kroger Blue Bell Listeria RecallBetween January 2014 and January 2015, five patients at Via Christi contracted listeriosis from contaminated Blue Bell ice cream they were served while hospitalized for unrelated illnesses.  Although the first case occurred during January 2014, the outbreak was not discovered until this month when health officials noticed that two people sickened with the rare outbreak strain had both been Via Christi patients.

Lab tests have shown that the rare Listeria strains cultured from the five patients at Via Christi are a match to those found in samples of Blue Bell ice cream made at the company’s facility in Brenham, Texas.

The company’s CEO says the problem was due to a problem with one of their machines and has since stopped production on that line and withdrawn affected products from the market.

The recalled products are: Chocolate Chip Country Cookie SKU # 196, Great Divide Bar SKU #108, Sour Pop Green Apple Bar SKU #221, Cotton Candy Bar SKU #216, Scoops SKU #117, Vanilla Stick Slices SKU #964, Almond Bars SKU #156, 6 pack Cotton Candy Bars SKU #245, 6 pack Sour Pop Green Apple Bars SKU #249, and 12 pack No Sugar Added Mooo Bars* SKU #343. Consumers who have any of these products in their freezers should not eat them.

Symptoms of a Listeria infection, which can take as long as 70 days to develop, include gastrointestinal problems followed by fever, severe headache, stiff neck, loss of balance and confusion.  Complications of listeriosis include seizures, spinal injury, Listeria meningitis, brain damage and death.

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