CDC: All Blue Bell Products Recalled After Contamination Fears

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April 21, 2015


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All Blue Bell brand products have been recalled due to fears that the items have been contaminated with listeria, a potentially life-threatening bacteria, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The recalled product list includes all Blue Bell ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks.

Blue Bell recalled the products on April 20, after the company’s own sampling process discovered that Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream produced on March 17, 2015 and March 27, 2015 had traces of the bacteria, according to a CDC health advisory.

“CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products, and that institutions and retailers do not serve or sell them,” the CDC statement said. “Listeriosis is a life-threatening infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium (germ) Listeria monocytogenes.”

Listeria can be fatal or cause meningitis or encephalitis in those with impaired immune systems. People with greatest risk of contracting listeriosis include:

  • Pregnant women.
  •  Newborns.
  • Adults 65 and older.
  •  People with weakened immune systems.
  • People with compromised immune systems include cancer patients, HIV-positive individuals and those with certain chronic diseases, says Barbara Russell, R.N., director of Infection Prevention and Control Services for Baptist Hospital. The consequences are less severe for most people and exposure to listeria could cause an upset stomach, pain or abdominal discomfort.

    “Consumers who develop symptoms of listeriosis after eating recalled products can consider seeking medical care and telling a health care provider about eating product that was recalled because of possible Listeria contamination,” the CDC says.

    You can develop listeriosis up to 60 days after eating a contaminated item. But in most cases symptoms develop within days, the CDC says.

    “Obviously, it’s something you have to be careful about. Blue Bell is doing the right thing by pulling the product. That’s how you stop a major outbreak.” Ms. Russell says. “If you are not feeling well and if you have eating something from Blue Bell, report it to your primary care physician or go to Urgent Care to get it checked out.”

    Nationwide this year, 10 people have come down with listeriosis as of April 21, 2015, with cases in Arizona Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. There have been three fatal cases in Kansas, linked to the outbreak, according to the CDC.

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