Blue Bell Expands Recall to All Products Due to Listeria Concerns
Blue Bell Ice Cream is voluntarily recalling all of its products currently on the market due to concerns over Listeria contamination.
The company issued the recall Monday after samples of its half gallon Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough products manufactured in March tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly bacterial organism. Last month, the company recalled several of its novelty ice cream and food service cup products after reports of Listeria infections in patients who received them while being treated at a Kansas hospital. Several grocery store chains, including H-E-B, later removed Blue Bell products from their shelves as a precaution.
Blue Bell President and CEO Paul Kruse issued a statement Monday apologizing to consumers and outlining the company's implementation of a new safety procedure he called "test and hold". Products manufactured in all Blue Bell plants will now be tested for bacteria and held for release to markets until the company receives test results indicating they are safe.
In addition to the "test and hold" procedure, Kruse said, the company is also expanding its system for cleaning and sanitizing equipment, swabbing and testing manufacturing plants, sending daily samples to a microbiology lab for testing, and providing employee training.
Blue Bell Creameries is expected to resume distribution on a limited basis once it confirms the safety of its products. Consumers who have recently purchased Blue Bell items are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. More information is available by calling1-866-608-3940 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST, or by logging on to bluebell.com.