FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KDHE Office of Communications
TOPEKA, Kan.—The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Agriculture have been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry to further investigate Listeria bacteria found in Blue Bell Creameries ice cream. Listeria has been found in another Blue Bell ice cream product.
KDHE with assistance from KDA collected environmental samples from the kitchen area of the hospital affected by the listeriosis outbreak and collected containers from remaining Blue Bell ice cream products in the hospital. The hospital fully cooperated with the investigation. None of the environmental samples from the kitchen tested positive for Listeria. However, one sample taken from an unopened Blue Bell 3-ounce single serving ice cream cup tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria at the Kansas Department of Agriculture Laboratory. That product was made at the Blue Bell Creameries facility in Broken Arrow, Okla., which was not part of the initial listeriosis investigation.
Blue Bell has recalled the following 3-ounce ice cream cups with pull tab lids:
Blue Bell has reported that the cups recalled are only distributed to institutional settings, meaning hospitals, nursing homes and schools and are not sold in retail locations. More information about the specific products recalled can be found on the Blue Bell website: http://cdn.bluebell.com/BB_withdrawal.
This is an ongoing investigation and Kansas health officials urge older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems not consume any Blue Bell products until more details are known.
Listeriosis primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of Listeria include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Symptoms begin from three to 70 days after consuming the bacteria. Listeria cannot be spread from person to person.
The hospital affected by the Listeria outbreak stopped serving all Blue Bell products at the direction of KDHE on March 9.
On March 13, KDHE announced five people in Kansas had become ill due to an outbreak of Listeria associated with Blue Bell Creameries products. Three of those people later died and Listeria was a contributing factor to death.
Anyone who believes they may have become ill with listeriosis should contact their health care provider.
More information about Listeria can be found on the CDC website www.cdc.gov/listeria and on the KDHE website www.kdheks.gov/listeria.