Blue Bell Recalls All Products Due to Listeria

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Blue Bell Creameries recalled all products April 21, 2015. Jamie Squire/Getty Images News

Blue Bell Ice Cream company announced on April 20th, 2015 that they were recalling all of their products on the market due to potential contamination with listeria. This expanded an earlier recall on limited quantities of products produced at the company's Oklahoma and Texas plants. The current expanded recall includes all products - ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks. 

According to the company's press release available on their website "The products being recalled are distributed to retail outlets, including 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."

"Today’s decision was the result of findings from an enhanced sampling program initiated by Blue Bell which revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015, and March 27, 2015, contained the bacteria. This means Blue Bell has now had several positive tests for Listeria in different places and plants". 

Should You Be Concerned About Listeria?

Contamination with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes can lead to listeriosis in certain people. Although most people that eat food that is contaminated with listeria do not get sick, it can be serious or fatal for others. 

Those at highest risk for serious illness include:

  • Pregnant women (can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or serious illness in the newborn)
  • Newborns and Young Children
  • Older Adults over age 65
  • People with Weak or Compromised Immune Systems

Symptoms of listeriosis include:

  • Headache
  • Stiff Neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of Balance
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Muscle or Body Aches

Regardless of whether or not you are at high risk, if you have eaten one of the recalled products and experience these symptoms, contact your health care provider. Be sure to notify those involved in your care that you have eaten recalled and potentially contaminated products.

If you are found to have listeriosis, you may be treated with antibiotics. Listeria infections can occur up to two months after eating contaminated products. 

What You Can Do

If you have any Blue Bell products in your home, you should not eat them. Return them to the store where you purchased them for a refund or discard them. 

If you have questions or concerns and would like to speak to a representative at Blue Bell, you can contact them at 1-866-608-3940 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. CST or go to bluebell.com.

As of April 21, 2015, 10 cases of listeriosis have been linked to the contaminated products. This number could increase as the investigation continues. Three people in Kansas have died due to the infection. 

Sources:

"All Product Recall". Press Releases 20 Apr 15. Blue Bell Ice Cream. 21 Apr 15. 

"Definition & Symptoms". Listeria (Listeriosis) 2 Jan 13. Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Department of Health and Human Services. 21 Apr 15. 

"Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Blue Bell Creameries Products". Outbreaks. 21 Apr 15. Listeria (Listeriosis). Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Department of Health and Human Services. 21 Apr 15.

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