September 27, 2016

Rules Set for Alabama Ice Cream Plant after Listeria Recall

Alabama and Blue Bell Creameries have reached agreement on rules that will surround the reopening of the company's ice cream plant in the state. Operations in Sylacauga, Alabama, were interupted April 20 when the company recalled all of its products while investigators tried to pinpoint the causes linking Blue Bell ice cream with a long-lasting outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. Three people died in Kansas and seven other illnesses in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona have been confirmed as tied to Listeria bacteria in Blue Bell ice cream. The onset of illnesses ranges from 2010 to January 2015. According to terms of the latest deal, Alabama will go along with most of the same rules already determined for the upcoming reopening of Blue Bell ice cream manufacturing … [Read more...]

Listeria Patient Who Sued Blue Bell Barely Escaped Death

The former Texas resident who is the first person to sue Blue Bell ice cream in connection with a deadly Listeria outbreak endured well over a year of intensive neurological treatment, therapy and rehabilitation, according to the formal complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas. The plaintiff, 32-year-old D. Philip Shockley, fell ill in October 2013 and continues to suffer from posterior fossa syndrome (PFS), a severe neurological syndrome caused by damage to the brainstem and cerebellum, the complaint said. The Listeria Blue Bell lawsuit, filed May 19 on Shockley's behalf by national food safety firm Pritzker|Olsen Attorneys, states that Listeria monocytogenes in Blue Bell ice cream infected the victim's blood and migrated to his brain, where it caused extensive damage, … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Listeria Agreements Require Ice Cream ‘Test and Hold’

Listeria patients who were treated at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita as part of the Blue Bell ice cream outbreak, and hospital officials themselves, may be interested to hear that Blue Bell will be prohibited from distributing future products until sampling tests indicate that the ice cream is safe. The so-called "test-and-hold'' method is mandated under an agreement between Blue Bell's CEO Paul Kruse and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Listeria agreement lays out conditions under which Blue Bell's ice cream facilities in Brenham will be allowed to resume production after a massive ice cream Listeria recall and shutdown of commercial manufacturing. A separate but similar agreement will apply the same standard to Blue Bell's plant in Broken Arrow, … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Plants to Get Intensive Cleaning, Retraining, Re-engineering

Blue Bell Ice Cream announced an intensive cleaning, retraining and re-engineering plan to start next week to exterminate Listeria monocytogenes  -- the pathogen that led to a deadly outbreak of listeriosis in Kansas. Three people in Wichita are dead after contracting the disease last year. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked the illnesses to consumption of milkshakes made from Blue Bell ice cream from Brenham, Texas. Another cluster of listeriosis in Texas has been tied to Blue Bell ice cream made in Oklahoma. The company also has a manufacturing plant in Alabama and recently announced a complete recall of all its ice cream after once again finding the pathogen in line samples of its products. “We intend to make a fresh start,'' said Blue Bell CEO and … [Read more...]

Lawyer Discusses Filing Blue Bell Ice Cream Listeria Lawsuit

Food Poisoning Bulletin talked to attorney Elliot Olsen, partner at Pritzker Olsen law firm, which underwrites this news site, about the Blue Bell ice cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak and filing lawsuits. The firm has been contacted by people who were sickened in this outbreak. The CDC states that people have been sickened by Blue Bell products as far back as 2010. We asked Mr. Olsen how this is possible. He said, "Listeriosis is a reportable illness. The Listeria bacteria is genetically fingerprinted in specialized labs known as “PulseNet.”  If no genetic matches to other patients are found, no outbreak is announced. When this current outbreak was suspected, officials looked at the records and found genetic matches in PulseNet that added six cases, from 2010 to 2014, to the … [Read more...]

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. The 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 … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Ice Cream Back in Some Stores After Listeria Outbreak

Blue Bell ice cream Listeria recalls prompted many retailers across the U.S. to completely remove the brand from store shelves, but now the recalls are giving way to restocking decisions. Among the first companies to return shelf space to Blue Bell is San Antonio-based H-E-B Grocery Stores. A spokesperson for the chain of more than 350 stores told KTRK-TV that a gradual return has begun. Leslie Sweet of H-E-B said Blue Bell is a brand Texans know and love, but the grocery company had to stay true to its commitment to safe food when it removed the ice cream last month during a series of three different recalls by Blue Bell. The recalls were associated with deepening links between Blue Bell ice cream products and two clusters of listeriosis -- the first in Kansas and the second identified … [Read more...]

Texas Health Issues Listeria Advisory to Healthcare Providers

The Texas State Department of Health Services has issued a Listeria advisory to healthcare providers. Patients with symptoms, who are in high-risk groups and may have been exposed to Listeria through a contaminated product should be tested, the advisory states.  Specifically, "diagnostic testing should include cultures of blood and other specimens, such ascerebrospinal fluid, as indicated by the clinical presentation." Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take 70 days to develop. They include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, other muscle stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infections can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Those at high risk for an invasive Listeria infection include pregnant women, adults 65 and older, those with … [Read more...]

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