Life Eat & Drink Global ice cream recall after lethal bacteria found
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Global ice cream recall after lethal bacteria found

The bacteria was first found in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream.
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Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries has issued a voluntary worldwide recall for all of its products after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria.

The company “cannot say with certainty” how the bacteria was introduced to its facilities, Blue Bell’s chief executive Paul Kruse said in a statement.

It is voluntarily recalling all of its products made at all of its facilities including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks, in 23 states and internationally.

Australia was not listed as a supplier of the ice cream brand.

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Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

“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,” Mr Kruse said.

“We are heartbroken about this situation and apologise to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers.

“Our entire history has been about making the very best and highest quality ice cream and we intend to fix this problem. 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.”

The decision was the result of findings from an enhanced sampling program initiated by Blue Bell which revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015, and March 27, 2015, contained the bacteria.

Reports show the first recall in the family-owned creamery’s 108-year history was issued in March after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked ice cream contaminated with listeria to three deaths at a Kansas hospital.

Five others in Kansas and Texas were sickened with listeriosis, which can cause fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms.

The illness was tracked to a production line in Brenham, Texas, and later to a second line in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

The most recently contaminated samples were discovered through a testing program the company initiated after its first recall, according to the statement.

In response, Blue Bell is implementing a procedure called “test and hold” for all products made at all of its manufacturing facilities.

This means that all products will be tested first and held for release to the market only after the tests show they are safe.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Blue Bell expects to resume distribution soon on a limited basis once it is confident in the safety of its product.

Consumers who have purchased these items are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For more information phone 1-866-608-3940 or visit bluebell.com. 

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