BRENHAM, Texas -- Blue Bell Ice Cream on Monday recalled all of its products over possible listeria contamination, the company announced.
Blue Bell advised customers to avoid eating all of its currently available products, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks. Tests at several Blue Bell locations in several states have come back positive for listeria as recently as March 27, the company said.
“We’re committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and president. “We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers."
The recall is the latest development in a listeria scare that dates back at least to January. At least three deaths have been linked to listeria that may have come from Blue Bell products. The company has already shut down one manufacturing plant in connection with the outbreak.
The company will introduce new safety procedures and restart production as soon as safely possible, a spokesman said. Until then, consumers who purchased these items were urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
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Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.