After weeks of gradual recalls, Blue Bell Creameries is now pulling all of its products off the shelves.
The company is recalling its entire line of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen snacks because they could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the company said Monday.
“Today’s decision was the result of findings from an enhanced sampling program initiated by Blue Bell which revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015, and March 27, 2015, contained the bacteria,” the company said in a statement.
“This means Blue Bell has now had several positive tests for Listeria in different places and plants.”
So far, Blue Bell has documented five cases of Listeria in Kansas and three cases in Texas.
“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,” Blue Bell CEO and president Paul Kruse said in a statement.
“We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers.
In the United States, an estimated 1,600 people become seriously ill with Listeria each year; about 16% of these cases result in death.
Although some people may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.