Listeria-Contaminated Blue Bell Ice Cream Linked to 3 Deaths
According to a statement from the USDA, listeria bacteria were identified in samples of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars, Sour Pop Green Apple Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars and No Sugar Added Moo Bars. A spokesperson for Blue Bell confirmed to the AP that all recalled products across 23 states have been recovered.
However, health officials in Kansas further clarified on Saturday, March 14, that while listeria is a likely contributing factor in the deaths of three of five patients receiving treatment for listeria poisoning, the bacterial infection was not the sole cause of death. Patients were treated between January 2014 and January 2015 for strains of listeria identified in Blue Bell products.
According to Khou.com, health officials have since linked Blue Bell’s listeria outbreak to a single machine at the company’s Brenham, Texas facility. The machine was shut down several days before the outbreak, but symptoms of listeria can arise between three and 70 days after coming in contact with the bacteria.