SAN ANTONIO – The Food and Drug Administration is investigating after rare strains of Listeria were found to be linked to products sold and manufactured by Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, Texas.
A total of seven rare strains of Listeria monocytogenes were found to be present in samples of the single serving Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwich and the Great Divide Bar ice cream products.
The discovery was made by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control during a routine product sampling at a South Carolina distribution facility on Feb. 12. The FDA said these products were manufactured at Blue Bell's Brenham facility.
Following the South Carolina sampling, the Texas Department of State Health Services collected product samples from the Blue Bell Creameries Brenham facility and found the same products to contain Listeria monocytogenes. A third single-serving ice cream product, Scoops, which is made on the same production line, was also found to contain Listeria monocytogenes.
Five people treated at a Kansas hospital from January 2014 to January 2015 were infected with one rare strain of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the FDA. Four of the patients were served prepackaged, single-serving products and milkshakes made from these Blue Bell products. All five patients were adults. Three deaths have been reported.
The FDA said Blue Bell has removed the affected products the market and shut down the production lines where the items were produced.
Blue Bell has removed the following products from the market:
|Product Name||Product Code|
|Chocolate Chip Country Cookie||SKU #196|
|Great Divide Bar||SKU #108|
|Sour Pop Green Apple Bar||SKU #221|
|Cotton Candy Bar||SKU #216|
|Vanilla Stick Slices||SKU #964|
|Almond Bars||SKU #156|
|6 pack Cotton Candy Bars||SKU #245|
|6 pack Sour Pop Green Apple Bars||SKU #249|
|12 pack No Sugar Added Mooo Bars*||SKU #343|
*The regular Mooo Bars, available at grocery stores, are not subject to recall.
The FDA said customers should not eat any of the affected items and throw out any of the products they have at home.
Anyone with questions on the recall is asked to call the FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.