December 17, 2017

Blue Bell Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Grows to Eight Sick

The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream has grown to include eight sick in two states, according to the CDC. The outbreak consists of two clusters involving people sickened with this pathogenic bacteria: one in Kansas, with five sick, and one in Texas, with three sick. This complicated outbreak has occurred over an extended period of time. Three people have died in this outbreak. Recent testing of product samples from the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Blue Bell facility found Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in a product sold to retail customers that were not included in the previous two recalls, including a pint of banana pudding ice cream. The government recommends that consumers not eat ANY Blue Bell products made at the Oklahoma facility, and don't … [Read more...]

Hospital Listeriosis Outbreaks Deadly and Difficult to Detect

Hospital listeriosis outbreaks, such as the one in Kansas linked to Blue Bell ice cream, can be difficult to detect and especially dangerous because 90 percent of Listeria-related illnesses fall on expecting mothers, infants, seniors and others who are immuno-suppressed. In 2010, a determined group of epidemiologists at the Texas State Department of Health Services launched an investigation into a puzzling outbreak that killed five hospital patients over a period of seven months at various hospitals in the central portion of the state. The team wrote about their work in the Oxford Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases, raising questions about why hospitals don't do more to protect vulnerable patients from food poisoning. The same agency recently helped to confirm that Blue Bell ice … [Read more...]

Lab Work Solidified Kansas Listeria Link to Blue Bell Ice Cream

The food poisoning laboratory that solidified the link between Blue Bell ice cream and a Listeria outbreak among Kansas hospital patients in Wichita is a deeply experienced unit with notable success in protecting public health, according to archives at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The tragic Kansas Listeria outbreak killed three of five patients at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital who drank milkshakes made from a now-recalled Blue Bell ice cream product, "Scoops." Public alerts may have saved others from a similar fate, but officials are concerned that some recalled Blue Bell ice cream items may still be in the home freezers of people unaware of the outbreak. Bulk ice cream sold in half-gallons, pints, quarts and 3 gallons is not part of the Blue Bell … [Read more...]

Scientists Scrutinize DNA In Blue Bell Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak

Listeria surveillance in the deadly Blue Bell ice cream food poisoning outbreak has advanced to include Whole Genome Sequencing, a tool for examining the DNA code of human pathogens that is second to none in accuracy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Whole Genome Sequencing, or WGS, of the Listeria monocytogenes isolates obtained from Blue Bell ice cream by Texas health officials was set in progress earlier this month. Kansas Blue Bell lawsuits on behalf of  victims seeking compensation for their illnesses undoubtedly will incorporate the results, as will state and federal epidemiologists who are trying to get an accurate picture of how many people outside Kansas were infected. As explained in a CDC You Tube video, WGS provides the most detailed look … [Read more...]

People From Five Kansas Counties Hit With Listeria in Past Year

Residents from five Kansas counties have been hit with Listeria food poisoning since January 2014, including five Kansans believed to be sickened by contaminated Blue Bell ice cream served at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. The statistics from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment don't reveal names or hometowns of those who became ill, nor would the agency say which of the six listeriosis patients from the five counties are considered victims of the Blue Bell/Via Christi outbreak. Of the six Kansas listeriosis patients, two are from Sedgwick County, which is dominated by the Wichita area. One each is from Harvey (county seat is Newton, Kansas); Wyandotte (county seat is Kansas City); Shawnee (county seat is Topeka, Kansas) and Ford (county seat is Dodge City, … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Had Trouble With Ice Cream Line Before Listeria Discovery

The maker of Blue Bell ice cream shut down its Scoops production line even before South Carolina health inspectors discovered Listeria in products from the same line, the company's CEO has said in two separate interviews about a deadly Kansas listeriosis outbreak associated with Scoops. Blue Bell CEO Paul Cruse told The Houston Chonicle in a March 13 story that the machine utilized to make Scoops and other single-serve items had not been in operation for about a month and a half. That means the shutdown occurred days if not weeks before February 12, when the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control first detected Listeria monocytogenes in two types of Blue Bell products made on the same line. The checks were part of routine inspections of food products at a … [Read more...]

Listeria In Blue Bell Ice Cream Kills 3 Sickens 2 More at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita

A Listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream served to patients at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita has killed three people and sickened two others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Between January 2014 and January 2015, five patients hospitalized for unrelated causes all contracted listeriosis. Four of those sickened were able to provide a food history and all of them reported having milkshakes made with Blue Bell “Scoops,” a single serving product, while they were in the hospital. Cultures from those patients were positive for four strains of Listeria. Tests on Blue Bell ice cream obtained in South Carolina and Texas in 2015 yielded three strains that matched those isolated from patients. The … [Read more...]

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