Blue Bell Expands Recall as Listeria Found at Some Other Plants
Blue Bell Creameries expanded its recall to all of its products -- including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks -- after Listeria bacteria were found in several different places and plants.
The products being recalled were distributed to retail outlets in 23 US states and international locations, the company said in a statement today.
“At this point, we cannot say with certainty how Listeria was introduced to our facilities and so we have taken this unprecedented step,” CEO and President Paul Kruse said in a statement on the family-owned company’s Website. “We are heartbroken about this situation.”
The decision was made after the company’s sampling program showed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream manufactured 17 March and 27 March contained the bacteria, the Brenham, Texas-based company said. Blue Bell has now turned up several positive tests for Listeria in different places and plants, it said.
Three people died after eating tainted Blue Bell ice-cream products at a Kansas hospital, and five others from Kansas and Texas were infected over a multi-year period, the US Food and Drug Administration has said. The FDA and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the outbreak.
Listeria is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium. The disease primarily affects older people, pregnant women, newborns or adults with weakened immune systems, according to the CDC.
Bloomberg News, edited by ESM