Blue Bell Creameries of Texas has announced a recall of all of their products on the market after discovering that two samples of their chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that causes serious infections in humans.
Paul Kruse, CEO and president of Blue Bell, issued a statement saying that the recall is part of their commitment to ensuring the safety of their customers with regards to their products.
"We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers," Kruse said.
"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 company is recalling all of their ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks manufactured from March 17 to March 27.
Areas included in the product recall are retail, including food service accounts, convenience stores and supermarkets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming and international distributers.
Blue Bell made the decision to recall their products after five people in Kansas and three people in Texas tested positive for listeriosis infection after reportedly consuming Blue Bell products. Several other areas, including Blue Bell manufacturing facilities in Brenham, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, were also confirmed to have the contamination.
Kruse said that the company has issued the recall based on the available evidence at the time and with their customers' best interest in mind.
He also added that at the moment, it is difficult to say for certain how the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria were introduced to their manufacturing sites, which is why they made the move to recall all of their products. Blue Bell's team of experts will continue to work in order to remove the problem of contamination.
The ice cream company will follow a process called "test and hold" for their product recall. This involves testing all products for possible contamination first. They will only be released back into the market once they test negative for any contamination.