Listeria Risk Prompts Another Major Recall



On the heels of a 30,000-case recall of multiple Sabra hummus products over a possible Listeria contamination, another highly popular snack product line is off the shelves entirely. Brenham, TX-based Blue Bell Creameries this week voluntarily recalled all products made at all of its facilities including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks The move comes after an enhanced sampling program initiated by Blue Bell revealed that its Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17 and March 27, made at different plants and sold in different places, contained the bacteria.


Thus far, three people in Kansas have died in the past year and 10 people in four states (Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas) have fallen ill after eating Blue Bell products. The Listeria bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Plus, a Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.


According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the issue may go back as far as 2010. The agency connected patients from 2010-2015 to the current outbreak through comparisons to a database of bacteria DNA. Though the origin of the strain remains unknown, “the fact that it was the same strain over the last five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases.


If you have any Blue Bell products in your home and have not been sickened, return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. However, if you or your dependents have suffered symptoms of a Listeria infection that you believe may have been caused by a recalled snack, contact a product liability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.