Blue Bell Expands Recall After More Samples Test Positive For Listeria Contamination

ice cream

Blue Bell Creameries expanded its recall of products possibly contaminated with listeria to include single-serve tab ice cream containers.

Blue Bell Creameries expanded a recent recall of products after tests found additional products may be linked to an outbreak of listeriosis that resulted in at least three deaths.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Texas-based Blue Bell has recalled three-ounce institutional/food service chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream cups with tab lids after determining the treats have a potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The expanded recall was initiated after an ice cream cup produced at the company’s Oklahoma plant tested positive for Listeria.

Over the weekend, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment reported one positive test for Listeria in a product recovered from a Wichita-area hospital, the Dallas Morning News reports.

The ice cream cup – which is not available for sale in retail outlets – was produced in a Broken Arrow, OK, plant on April 15, 2014.

According to Blue Bell, the ice cream cups were distributed to food service customers in 23 states. They can be identified by the following information:

• Ice Cream Cup Chocolate (3 FL OZ) No UPC – SKU #453
• Ice Cream Cup Strawberry (3 FL OZ) No UPC – SKU #452
• Ice Cream Cup Vanilla (3 FL OZ) No UPC – SKU #451

The expanded recall does not include Blue Bell Ice Cream half gallons, pints, quarts, three gallons or other three-ounce cups.

Blue Bell’s latest recall comes just a week after it was first reported that the company’s products had been linked to an outbreak of listeriosis that resulted in five people in Kansas becoming sick and three later died.

The five people who became ill in Kansas were confirmed to be infected with one of four strains of Listeria monocytogenes. All five people – older in age – were hospitalized at the same hospital for unrelated problems before developing invasive listeriosis, suggesting they were infected at the hospital, the CDC reports.

Investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the illnesses began between January 2014 and January 2015. Although some of the illnesses began more than a year ago, the listeria cluster identified earlier this month shows that some of the infections are indistinguishable, meaning they are likely from the same source.

Of the patients infected, four consumed milkshakes made with a single serving Blue Bell brand ice cream called “Scoops” while they were in the hospital.

In response to the investigation and the findings of Listeria monocytogenes, Blue Bell Creameries issued a recall and removed several products from the market including Scoops, Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars, Sour Pop Green Apple Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars and No Sugar Added Moo Bars.

Blue Bell expands product recall after test links hospital sample to Listeria [The Dallas Morning News]