A total of 10 patients across different states have been infected with strains of Listeria monocytogenes associated with Blue Bell products. All patients were hospitalized, and three deaths were already reported from Kansas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC said in a statement. The center is now advising consumers not to eat any products from Blue Bell and retailers not to serve or sell them.
Blue Bell listeria outbreak present for five years
There have been one resident from Arizona inflicted by listeria, one in Oklahoma, three in Texas and five in Kansas.
“The patients with illness onsets ranging from 2010-2014 were identified through a retrospective review of the Pulse Net database for DNA fingerprints that were similar to isolates collected from Blue Bell ice cream samples,” CDC said in its statement.
Throw away all Blue Bell products
CDC now recommends consumers not to eat any product from Blue Bell. This includes the Blue Bell brand ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks. The center’s warning is particularly important for pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weak immune systems.
CDC has now advised consumers and retailers to throw away all Blue Bell products they have bought. Blue Bell, on the other hand, urged consumers to return purchased products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For more information consumers with questions may call 1-866-608-3940 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. CST or go to bluebell.com.
Statement from Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse
CEO and president Paul Kruse announced a voluntary recall of all Blue Bell products from the market. He said this is the 100-percent right thing to do for the company, bearing in mind the best interest of its loyal consumers. Kruse said that Blue Bell has already sought the service of one of the world’s most renowned food safety microbiologist to inspect all of the company’s different factories.
“While we initially believed this situation was isolated to one machine in one room, we now know that was wrong. We need to know more to be completely confident that our products are safe for our customers,” Kruse said in his statement.
“We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers. Our entire history has been about making the very best and highest quality ice cream, and we intend to fix this problem. We want enjoying our ice cream to be a source of joy and pleasure, never a cause for concern, so we are committed to getting this right.”
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