Another Day, Another Listeria Scare: Blue Bell Voluntarily Recalls Select Ice Cream Products Over Listeria Concerns

22 September 2016, 11:45 am EDT By Saranya Palanisamy Tech Times
Blue Bell Creameries is recalling some of its Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookie Two Step ice cream products on potential Listeria contamination. The company has announced this recall as a precautionary measure to contain potential outbreak.  ( Jonny Hunter | Flickr )

Blue Bell Creameries has announced yet again this year to recall select ice cream products supplied to several states in the south on account of potential Listeria contamination.

Blue Bell is voluntarily recalling half gallons and pints of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookie Two Step ice cream products produced in the company's plant in Sylacauga, Alabama. It is reported that the cookie dough ingredients procured from the third-party supplier, Garner, Iowa-based Aspen Hills, Inc. were potentially contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.

The company has noted that the products are being recalled out of "abundant caution" though no cases of illness are reported by far. Half gallons of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with code date 082618226 and Blue Bell Cookie Two Step with code dates 080418222, 081818224 are being taken back. As far as ice cream pints are concerned, Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with code dates 081518242, 082418242 are being recalled.

It is reported that the ice cream products are supplied to Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina but not to Texas. About 578 cases of "no egg chocolate chip cookie dough" that are suspected to be contaminated were shipped from Aspen hills to Alabama on July 26. Later between second and third week of August, 1,358 cases were supplied to Brenham.

"Although our products in the marketplace have passed our test-and-hold program, which requires that finished product samples test negative for Listeria monocytogenes, Blue Bell is initiating this recall out of an abundance of caution," the company said in a statement.

This is not the first time Blue Bell is undergoing such a crisis. Early last year, the company has suffered a great loss following a Listeria outbreak. The massive multistate outbreak that was reported in February of 2015 lasted until April that year, leading to the shutdown of Blue Bell plants. The contaminated products claimed three lives in Kansas and had around 10 people hospitalized in four states.

In July 2015, Fort Worth oil billionaire Sid Bass invested $125 million to help Blue Bell resume its production, leading to their comeback last fall.

Following this recall, Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, noted that making the same mistake two times in a row is unacceptable.

Photo: Jonny Hunter | Flickr

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