If you’ve got Blue Bell ice cream sitting in your freezer, toss it, because the company has just issued a voluntary recall of literally all its products, after the much-dreaded listeria was found lurking inside a couple of its cartons. Yes, even if it’s a lovingly smuggled half-gallon of peach. Chuck it.
According to the New York Times:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday that tests indicated Blue Bell products from plants in Texas and Oklahoma were the source of a listeria outbreak that has infected five adults in Kansas, three of whom died. Three adults in Texas were also sickened in the last four years.
“This is a complex and ongoing multistate outbreak of listeriosis occurring over an extended period,” the C.D.C. said.
While listeria typically just makes healthy adults violently miserable for a few days, the bacteria is a serious danger to children, the elderly, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system. Back in March, Blue Bell announced its first recall, of products from one specific plant (mostly ice cream bars). But they’re now expanding that recall to everything they make, after a testing program turned up the bacteria in cartons of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough produced in March.
Said CEO Paul Kruse in a statement on the company’s website:
“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. We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers.”
Blue Bell says they’re introducing several new safety measures, including a “test-and-hold” procedure where products are sampled before they ever leave the factory. “We want enjoying our ice cream to be a source of joy and pleasure, never a cause for concern, so we are committed to getting this right,” he added. “At this point, we cannot say with certainty how Listeria was introduced to our facilities and so we have taken this unprecedented step. We continue to work with our team of experts to eliminate this problem.” I should certainly fucking hope so!
Photo via AP Images.
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