Three deaths in Kansas from Listeria monocytogenes (listeriosis) have been linked to certain Blue Bell brand ice cream products.
Citing the CDC and the Kansas Department of Health Environment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that five patients who were treated in a single hospital in Kansas were infected with one of four rare strains of Listeria monocytogenes.
Multiple strains of Listeria were found in samples of Blue Bell Creameries single serving Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwich and the Great Divide Bar ice cream products. The samples were collected from a routine product sampling at a South Carolina distribution center on Feb. 12, 2015.
Manufacturing of the products was done at Blue Bell Creameries’ Brenham, Texas, facility and samples collected there of the two suspect products yielded positive results for Listeria monocytogenes.
A third product, the single-serving ice cream product Scoops, was also found to be infected.
All three products are made on the same production line.
The five people who were infected with one of the strains of Listeria monocytogenes each ate a Scoops ice cream, reports CBS 6.
Three of the infected have died.
The symptoms of Listeria include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. If a person experiences these symptoms after eating a Blue Bell Creameries manufactured ice cream, they should seek medical attention. Symptoms may occur a few days or up to a few weeks after consumption.
Blue Bell Creameries said the contaminated products have been removed from the market as of March 2015.
The CDC warns that contaminated products may still be in the freezers of consumers, institutions and retailers.
Consumers should dispose of any of the following products in their freezer, even if they have been partially eaten and no one has become ill.