April 21, 2015 — Blue Bell has recalled all ice cream products after Listeria was found in two half-gallon containers of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream produced on March 17 and 27.
The recall was the result of findings from an “enhanced sampling program.”
The tests mean Blue Bell has had several positive tests for Listeria in different plants.
Blue Bell announced the first recall on March 13 after ice cream made at a facility in Oklahoma were linked to three deaths. A few weeks later, the recall expanded to include more than 25 products.
Health officials from South Carolina traced Listeria-tainted ice cream back to a facility in Brenham, Texas, back in February. However, no recalls were issued for products made at that facility until now.
Five hospital patients in Wichita, Kansas appear to have been infected with Listeria from January 2014 through January 2014, including four who had milkshakes with Blue Bell ice cream. Three adult hospital patients in Texas were also infected over the last four years.
Blue Bell will initiate a “test and hold” procedure, which means any product will be tested for Listeria and held until the ice cream is shown to be safe. In addition, Blue Bell will greatly enhance sanitization efforts, send daily samples to a microbiology lab, and provide employees with more training.
Blue Bell’s chief executive and president, Paul Kruse, told the New York Times:
“We are heartbroken over this situation and apologize to all of our loyal fans and customers. Our entire history has been dedicated to making the very best and highest quality ice cream we could, and we are committed to fixing the problem.”
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