Update, 4/21/15: Blue Bell is voluntarily recalling 100% of its products after a listeria outbreak was found in two cartons of ice cream, according to the New York Times. The ice cream, which is sold internationally and in 23 states nationwide, could cause weakened immune systems, fever, headache, diarrhea, and even fatality in children and the elderly if infected with the bacteria.
“This is a complex and ongoing, multistate outbreak of listeriosis occurring over an extended period of several years,” explained that Center for Disease control’s report. Blue Bell remains unsure how the bacteria was first introduced.
Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse issued a video statement to assure customers that Blue Bell would return to shelves soon. “We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers,” said Kruse. “Our entire history has been about making the very best and highest quality ice cream and we’re committed to fixing this problem… Ice cream should never be a cause for a concern.”
Original post on 4/8/2015:
Three ounce cups of Blue Bell Ice Cream are served in schools and cafeterias in 20 states across America. Now, CNN reports that Blue Bell is recalling the ice cream and shutting down its plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, due to potential listeria contamination.
Infection by the bacteria listeria monocytogenes (listeriosis) can be fatal for children, the elderly, and those with weakened immuned systems, but even healthy adults can suffer from fever, headache and diarrhea. Listeria can also put pregnant women at risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. The Center for Disease control reports that there have been three deaths in the past year, all in Kansas, that may linked to listeria in Blue Bell products. Additionally, five people in Kansas were hospitalized after falling ill from eating the ice cream.
The recall covers the three ounce, pint and half-gallon Blue Bell tubs of various flavors ,which can be identified by the code date on the bottom of the carton. Flavors include rainbow sherbert, banana pudding, mint chocolate chip, vanilla, Dutch chocolate, butter crunch, and more. (The exact product listings can be found on the Blue Bell website.)
According to CNN, this is the fourth time Blue Bell has taken action due to a listeria outbreak at a Kansas hospital that served the company’s ice cream.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that customers do not eat any Blue Bell products made at the Oklahoma facility.