Listeria concerns prompt Blue Bell to issue new, voluntary recall of ice cream

Blue Bell knew about listeria, FDA Says (Image 1)

(WFLA) – Blue Bell has issued a new, voluntary recall of some of its ice creams because of concerns about Listeria.

Blue Bell published the following information about the voluntary recall on its website-

BLUE BELL ICE CREAM RECALLS SELECT PRODUCTS CONTAINING CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH PIECES PURCHASED FROM OUTSIDE SUPPLIER ASPEN HILLS DUE TO POSSIBLE HEALTH RISK

BRENHAM, Texas, September 21, 2016 – Blue Bell Ice Cream is voluntarily recalling select products produced in its Sylacauga, Alabama, plant because they were made with a chocolate chip cookie dough ingredient supplied by a third party supplier Aspen Hills, Inc., due to the potential for it to contain Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

This recall covers the following products.

Blue Bell Ice Cream Half Gallons:
Code Dates
Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
082618226
Blue Bell Cookie Two Step
080418222, 081818224
Blue Bell Ice Cream Pints:
Code Dates
Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
081518242, 082418242
The products can be identified by the code date found on the bottom of the carton.  The products produced with the chocolate chip cookie dough pieces were distributed in the following ten states Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

No illnesses have been reported to date.  Blue Bell identified a potential problem through intensified internal testing and notified Aspen Hills. Aspen Hills then issued a voluntary recall of the products supplied to Blue Bell. Although our products in the marketplace have passed our test and hold program, which requires that finished product samples test negative for Listeria monocytogenes, Blue Bell is initiating this recall out of an abundance of caution. This recall is being conducted in cooperation with the FDA.

Consumers should not eat the recalled products and are encouraged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

We continue to work closely with our regulatory agencies, and we remain committed to ensuring we are producing safe products for our consumers to enjoy.  For more information, consumers with questions may call 979-836-7977, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. CST.

Photos of the ice cream are shown below-

blue-bell-recalled-ice-cream

 

The company’s ice cream was previously linked to listeria illnesses in multiple states in 2015. In Kansas, three deaths were linked to Blue Bell. After an April recall, the company had to decontaminate its plants, resulting in about a third of its employees being cut, according to NBC. The FDA said Blue Bell had evidence of listeria as early as March 2013. Yet, the company continued selling ice cream produced in a problematic plant.

 

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