April 9, 2015 — Eight people in Kansas and three people in Texas have been infected with Listeria after eating Blue Bell ice cream, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In an update published last night, the CDC confirmed that the number of people sickened with listeriosis has increased.
The latest cluster of three illnesses were reported in Texas from 2011-2014. All were hospitalized for unrelated problems before developing listeriosis.
Whole genome sequences of their Listeria monocytogenes strains were nearly identical to strains isolated from Blue Bell ice cream produced in Oklahoma.
Another five food poisoning illnesses were reported from one hospital in Wichita, Kansas, from January 2014 through January 2015. Three of the five patients died and health officials said Listeria might have been a contributing factor.
The CDC also said another three hospital patients appear to have been infected with the same strain of Listeria from 2010-2012, but more testing is needed before a connection can be confirmed. The CDC did not say where those patients were hospitalized.
Earlier this week, Blue Bell expanded a recall to include pints, quarts, and half-gallons of ice cream produced at their facility in Oklahoma. Not all products made at the facility have been recalled. Listeria has also been detected at a facility in Brenham, Texas. No recalls have been issued for those products.
In the meantime, the CDC warns against consuming the ice cream:
“CDC continues to recommend that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products made at the Oklahoma production facility (including the recalled products) and that retailers and institutions should not sell or serve them. This advice is particularly important for consumers at higher risk for listeriosis, including pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.”
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