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Blue Bell ice cream recall linked to three listeria deaths

By Danielle Haynes
1/10
Blue Bell ice cream recall linked to three listeria deaths
Blue Bell Creameries announced a recall on several of its ice cream novelty items, including Cotton Candy Bars. Photo courtesy of Blue Bell Creameries

WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) -- Blue Bell Creameries has recalled several styles of ice cream novelties after listeria infections sickened five people who consumed the products, three of whom died.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating an outbreak of listeria monocytogenes infections in five patients in Kansas.

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All five people were admitted at a Kansas hospital for unrelated conditions and became ill with the infection between January 2014 and January 2015. For the four patients whose food intake was documented, all had consumed milkshakes made with a single-serving Blue Bell ice cream product called Scoops while in the hospital.

Three of the patients died.

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The CDC and FDA determined Blue Bell products were likely the source of the outbreak. As part of an unrelated investigation, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control isolated listeria monocytogenes in single-serve products Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwiches and Great Divide Bars. Scoops products were made on the same production line.

Additionally the Texas Department of State Health Services isolated the bacteria in products samples at Blue Bell's production facility in Brenham, Texas.

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Blue Bell said it removed all products made from the same production line from stores and has shut down the production line. The other items included in the recall are Sour Pop Green Apple Bar, Cotton Candy Bar, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars, six-pack Cotton Candy Bars, six-pack Sour Pop Green Apple Bars and 12-pack No Sugar Added Mooo Bars.

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A notice posted on the Blue Bell website indicates this is the first recall the company has had in its 108-year history.

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