Blue Bell Ice Cream, based in Brenham, Texas, is recalling all of its products currently on the market made at all of its facilities, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, FDA announced April 20.
The recall involves products distributed to retail outlets, foodservice 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 locations.
The decision to recall all products was the result of findings from an enhanced sampling program initiated by Blue Bell that revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17 and March 27, 2015, contained the bacteria. Blue Bell has now had several positive tests for Listeria in different places and plants and as previously reported five patients were treated in Kansas and three in Texas after testing positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
Blue Bell is implementing a “test and hold" procedure called for all products made at all of its manufacturing facilities. All products will be tested first and held for release to the market only after the tests show they are safe. The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, facility will remain closed as Blue Bell continues to investigate.
In addition to the “test and hold" system, Blue Bell is implementing additional safety procedures and testing including:
•Expanding its system of daily cleaning and sanitizing of equipment
•Expanding its system of swabbing and testing our plant environment by 800 percent to include more surfaces
•Sending samples daily to a leading microbiology laboratory for testing
•Providing additional employee training