The deaths of three people who developed a foodborne illness linked to some Blue Bell ice cream products have prompted the Texas icon's first product recall in its 108-year history. A total of five people developed listeriosis in Kansas after eating products from one production line at the Blue Bell creamery in Brenham, Texas, according to an FDA statement. The FDA says listeria bacteria were found in samples of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars, Sour Pop Green Apple Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars, and No Sugar Added Moo Bars.
All five of the people sickened were receiving treatment for unrelated health issues at the same Wichita hospital before developing listeriosis, "a finding that strongly suggests their infections (with listeria bacteria) were acquired in the hospital," the CDC said. Of those five, information was available from four on what foods they had eaten in the month before the infection. All four had consumed milkshakes made with a single-serving Blue Bell ice cream product called "Scoops" while in the hospital, the CDC said. "Scoops," as well as the other suspect Blue Bell items, are mostly food service items and not produced for retail, said Paul Kruse, CEO of the Brenham creamery. (Read more ice cream stories.)