In what appears to be an overabundance of caution, Blue Bell has ordered stores to pull all Blue Bell products from their shelves.  The announcement came yesterday amid the continuing issues with Listeria contamination.   The company issued the following statement:

Blue Bell Ice Cream of Brenham, Texas, is voluntarily 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, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Blue Bell is implementing a procedure called “test and hold” for all products made at all of its manufacturing facilities. This means that all products will be tested first and held for release to the market only after the tests show they are safe. The Broken Arrow 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 already robust system of daily cleaning and sanitizing of equipment
  • Expanding swabbing and testing of plant environment by 80 percent to include more surfaces
  • Sending samples daily to a leading microbiology laboratory for testing
  • Providing additional employee training

Blue Bell expects to resume distribution soon on a limited basis once it is confident in the safety of its product.  Consumers who have purchased these items are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information consumers with questions may call 1-866-608-3940 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. CST or go to www.bluebell.com