As of this morning, Blue Bell ice cream has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of its ice cream products—including sherbet, frozen yogurt and frozen snacks (yes, even you, fudge bars and ice cream sandwiches)—after discovering that a listeria contamination could potentially affect more than just the ice creams recalled earlier this month.
On April 3, it was discovered that Blue Bell ice cream produced in its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma plant tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, and grocery stores across the country began removing any pints or gallons produced in the plant from their shelves. Three people died and five others were sickened by listeria thought to come from the affected products. Ice cream produced in Blue Bell's original Brenham plant remained on shelves, thought to be unaffected by the listeria contamination, and even stores such as H-E-B—which pulled all Blue Bell ice cream regardless of origin—began restocking it as of April 13. Today, however, Blue Bell released a statement acknowledging that further Listeria monocytogenes had been discovered in half-gallons of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
“We’re committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and president. “We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers. Our entire history has been about making the very best and highest quality ice cream and we intend to fix this problem. We want enjoying our ice cream to be a source of joy and pleasure, never a cause for concern, so we are committed to getting this right.”
By 11 a.m. today, Fiesta stores across Houston had already pulled their entire stocks of Blue Bell ice cream, according to one store employee. And when we visited Walmart to see if any rogue Blue Bell remained, we found only empty shelves. Kroger and H-E-B have similarly removed their entire supplies. In the meantime, have you ever tried Graeter's?