Illnesses Prompt Advisory About Certain Blue Bell Products
AUSTIN, March 17, 2015 - The FDA today issued a consumer advisory about certain Blue Bell ice cream products made in Texas. The notice was issued after several confirmed cases of Listeriosis in Kansas were linked to products made on a single production line at the Blue Bell Creameries plant in Brenham.
Blue Bell has stopped production and distribution of ice cream products from that line and has removed them from stores and any other retail outlets. The advisory does not include Blue Bell cups, pints or half gallons. The affected products include the following novelty items made on the line:
Recent laboratory tests of three ice cream products from the Brenham production line – Country Cookie, Great Divide and Scoops – indicated the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can cause severe illness. The company is calling back additional ice cream items because they were made on the same production line.
Symptoms of Listeriosis can include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and vomiting. People with these symptoms should consult a physician. Symptoms typically occur three to 70 days after exposure. The disease affects primarily older people, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune systems.
Listeriosis is required to be reported in Texas. No Texas cases have been reported in connection to any Blue Bell products. In 2014, Texas had 19 confirmed cases of Listeriosis. Texas has had two reported cases so far this year.
Blue Bell, headquartered in Brenham, has been licensed in Texas as a frozen dessert manufacturer since 1981, when the state enacted the frozen dessert licensing requirement. Texas inspects these facility types monthly. No enforcement action has been taken against the facility, and it is operating in compliance with food safety laws.
Texas continues to work closely with the FDA and with Blue Bell Creameries to gather additional information and ensure the items have been removed from stores.