Caribbean included in Blue Bell Ice cream recall

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
As a result of the recent ice cream bacterial contamination, Blue Bell Creameries has made a decision to expand its recall to include all of its products currently on the market because they too, may be potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Included in this recall is ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks made at all Blue Bell facilities. The recalled products have been distributed internationally to several countries in the Caribbean region, including Anguilla, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Turks & Caicos Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti.

In a report, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that a total of ten patients infected with several strains of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from four states: Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. All ten of the patients were hospitalized. Three deaths were reported from Kansas within the last year. Three strains associated with these case patients have been identified in products manufactured at either the Blue Bell production facility in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, or Brenham, Texas.

Listeriosis is a rare but serious illness caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. Anyone who experiences fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, or develops fever and chills after eating the ice cream should seek medical care and tell their General Practitioner about any history of eating the ice cream. Symptoms can appear from a few days up to a few weeks after consumption of the contaminated food.

Listeriosis can be fatal, especially in certain high-risk groups. These groups include the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems and certain chronic medical conditions such as cancer. In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labour, and serious illness or death in newborn babies.

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