BRENHAM, Texas – Blue Bell Ice Cream is voluntarily recalling select products made in its Sylacauga plant.
The products in question were made with a chocolate chip cookie dough ingredient supplied by a third-party supplier, Aspen Hills, Inc. The ingredient has the potential to contain Listeria monocytogenes.
Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Listeria prompted Blue Bell to issue the first recall in its 108-year-old history in 2015.
Blue Bell halted production at all three of its plants, including Sylacauga, after its ice cream was linked to several cases of listeria.
Trial runs to produce ice cream were started back in mid-July 2015 in Sylacauga. Blue Bell’s other two plants in Brenham, Texas, and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, remained closed at that time.
Blue Bell returned to store shelves in Sylacauga at the end of August 2015.
This latest recall covers half gallons of chocolate chip cookie dough (with code date 082618226) and Cookie Two Step (with code dates 080418222 and 081818224). The recall also covers pints of chocolate chip cookie dough (code dates 081518242, 082418242).
The products can be identified by the code date found on the bottom of the carton. The products produced with the chocolate chip cookie dough pieces were distributed in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
No illnesses have been reported to date.
Blue Bell identified a potential problem through intensified internal testing and notified Aspen Hills. Aspen Hills then issued a voluntary recall of the products supplied to Blue Bell.
Blue Bell said that although its products in the marketplace have passed its tests and hold program, which requires that finished product samples test negative for Listeria monocytogenes, the company is initiating this recall out of an abundance of caution. This recall is being conducted in cooperation with the FDA.
Consumers should not eat the recalled products and are encouraged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Blue Bell said it will continue to work closely with its regulatory agencies and remains committed to ensuring it is producing safe products.
For more information, consumers with questions may call 979-836-7977, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central time.