On Friday, the FDA issued a customer advisory about certain Blue Bell ice cream products made in Texas. The announcement was issued after several confirmed incidents of Listeriosis in Kansas were related to products made on a single production line at the Blue Bell Creameries plant in Brenham. Today, it was confirmed that the disease claimed 3 lives.
Blue Bell has ceased production and distribution of ice cream products from that line and has been taken out from stores and any other retail outlets but the advisory does not include Blue Bell cups, pints or half gallons.
The affected products include the following items made on the line:Chocolate Chip Country Cookie, Sour Pop Green Apple Bar, Great Divide Bar,Cotton Candy Bar, Vanilla Stick Slices,Scoops, Almond Bar,and No Sugar Added Mooo Bar (regular Mooo Bars are not included).
Customers should not consume these items and should throw away any of these products they may have in their homes.
Three ice cream products from the Brenham production line – Country Cookie, Great Divide and Scoops’ recent laboratory tests indicated the presence of a bacterium that can cause severe illness called Listeria monocytogenes. The company is calling back additional ice cream products that were made on the same production line.
Listeriosis’ symptoms include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and vomiting. People experiencing these symptoms should directly consult a doctor. Symptoms usually occur 3 to 70 days after exposure. Older people, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune systems most likely to be affected with this disease.
Listeriosis should be reported in Texas. No Texas cases have been reported in connection to any Blue Bell products. In the year 2014, Texas had 19 confirmed incidents of Listeriosis. The state has had two reported cases so far this year.
Brenham is where the Blue Bell’s headquarter. It has been licensed in Texas as a frozen dessert manufacturer since 1981, when the state enacted the frozen dessert licensing requirement. These facility types are inspected monthly. No enforcement action has been taken against the facility, and it is operating in compliance with food safety laws.
Texas continually works closely with the FDA and with Blue Bell Creameries to accumulate additional details and ensure the products have been taken out from storm.