September 23, 2016 — Blue Bell Creameries has issued yet another recall for cookie dough ice cream that may be contaminated with Listeria, a bacteria that can cause deadly food poisoning.
Blue Bell blamed the problem on a third-party cookie dough supplier — Aspen Hills, Inc. of Iowa — and discovered Listeria through internal testing.
However, Aspen Hills said the cookie dough tested negative for Listeria before it was shipped, and the positive test came only after the product had been in Blue Bell’s control for nearly two months.
No illnesses have been reported, but Listeria infections are extremely serious. The last outbreak infected 10 people in four states, including three people at one hospital in Kansas who died.
The recall involves Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookie Two Step ice cream in half-gallon and pint-sized containers:
- Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough — Half -gallons — Code #082618226
- Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough — Pints — Code #081518242, #082418242
- Blue Bell Cookie Two Step — Half-gallons — Code #080418222, #081818224
The products were shipped to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The recall came less than 2 weeks after Blue Bell re-entered grocery stores in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can cause illnesses in humans and animals, including mastitis in cows, which is why unpasteurized dairy products are often contaminated. It is nearly impossible to eradicate from food processing facilities because it is so common in the environment. It likes to grow in cold, wet places — including refrigerators — and can survive freezing.
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