April 22, 2015 — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported 10 Listeria infections in Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma have been linked to Blue Bell ice cream since 2010.
One case in Oklahoma and another in Arizona were confirmed by whole genome sequencing, according to an update issued yesterday by the CDC. All ten patients were hospitalized.
An expert from the CDC who talked to CNN said, “the fact that it was the same strain over the last five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time.”
Because the outbreak has been ongoing since January 2010, there is a chance cases were never diagnosed or reported. Officials are currently combing through old cases of Listeria to see if they might be related to the recall.
The original cases were only discovered because they all occurred at one hospital in Wichita, Kansas, where Blue Bell ice cream was mixed into milkshakes. Three of those patients died, and it is possible Listeria infection contributed. Weeks later, another three cases were reported in Texas.
Blue Bell Creameries recalled all products from all facilities on Monday, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks. This is the third recall from Blue Bell since March. Health officials now warn:
“CDC recommends that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products, and that institutions and retailers do not serve or sell them.”
No one knows how Listeria got into Blue Bell ice cream, but the bacteria is commonly found in soil and water. It can infect dairy cows, but probably didn’t come from the milk because Blue Bell only uses pasteurized milk. Listeria may have come from contaminated nuts or other ingredients mixed into the ice cream.
Eradicating Listeria from an ice cream plant is difficult because it can live on surfaces for years. Once introduced into a facility, it also continues to grow under refrigeration temperatures.
Do I have a Blue Bell Ice Cream Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Blue Bell ice cream induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with Listeria, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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