BROKEN ARROW, OKLA. — Blue Bell Creameries is in the process of withdrawing all products manufactured at its Broken Arrow plant from the market. The company said it is voluntarily taking the step out of an “abundance of caution.”
It has been a challenging week for the managers of Blue Bell. On April 3, the company suspended operations at the Oklahoma plant after a 3-oz chocolate food service product tested positive for Listeria. The company began withdrawing the product from the market as it sought the source of the contamination at the plant.
On April 4, Blue Bell said it began working with retailers to remove all products manufactured in Broken Arrow from the market, and on April 7, the Food and Drug Administration informed the company that a pint of Banana Pudding ice cream tested positive for Listeria. The product was manufactured in Broken Arrow on Feb. 12, and, as a result, Blue Bell is in the process of recalling products manufactured on a specific production line between Feb. 12 and March 27.
Blue Bell’s Listeria problems are not isolated to its plant in Oklahoma. In mid-March, the company recalled several products manufactured at its plant in Brenham, Texas, after they had been linked to three deaths at a hospital in Kansas. At the time the company said it had identified the machine that was the source of the contamination.Blue Bell later expanded the recall to three varieties of 3-oz ice cream cups with pull tab lids that had been manufactured at the Broken Arrow plant after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigators isolated strains ofListeria monocytogenesat the Kansas hospital and linked them to the products manufactured in Broken Arrow. The isolates were indistinguishable from each other, according to the C.D.C.