BRENHAM, TEXAS — Blue Bell Creameries has expanded its recall of frozen snack varieties following a positive test for Listeria monocytogenes on March 22. The original recall was issued on March 16 following a Listeria outbreak linked to three deaths at a Kansas hospital.
New products included in the recall are Blue Bell’s 3-oz institutional/food service ice cream cups in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors. A test on March 22 by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment reported one positive test for Listeria monocytogenes on a chocolate ice cream cup recovered from a hospital in Wichita, Kas. The product was produced in the company’s Broken Arrow, Okla., plant on April 15, 2014.
The recalled products were distributed to food service customers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.
No Blue Bell products sold through retail outlets such as convenience stores or supermarkets are involved in the recall, and no illnesses have been reported to date.
Blue Bell’s March 16 recall included products manufactured at a plant in Brenham, Texas, and the company identified a machine as the source of contamination. Products included in the recall include such varieties as no-sugar-added Mooo Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Sour Pops, Great Divide Bars, Almond Bars, Country Cookie ice cream sandwiches, pre-wrapped Scoops and pre-wrapped Vanilla Stick Slices.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, five patients who were treated in a single hospital in Kansas were infected with one of four strains of Listeria monocytogenes. Three of the strains, which are similar, also were found in products manufactured at Blue Bell’s manufacturing plant in Brenham. Illness onset dates range from January 2014 to January 2015.Hospital records available for four of the patients at the hospital in Kansas show that all were served ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries’ prepackaged, single-serving products and milkshakes made from the products. The hospital received ice cream manufactured by Blue Bell Creameries.