Some of Houston's largest grocery retailers are pulling Blue Bell Ice Cream products made at its Oklahoma-based plant from their shelves after three Kansas hospital patients recently died after eating contaminated ice cream from the Broken Arrow factory.
Walmart, Sam's Club and mega-grocery store chain Kroger are only selling Blue Bell products made at the company's other production plants, the Houston Chronicle reports, and officials at H-E-B officials also have announced they are taking the Oklahoma-made ice cream off their shelves:
Blue Bell Ice Cream has voluntarily recalled some of its products while it continues to work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. H-E-B has decided to withdraw all existing Blue Bell products on its shelves as a precautionary measure due to food safety concerns. Working with Blue Bell, we will replenish our shelves with new product as soon as feasible."
The recall is the first in the creamery's 108 years.
The company's other plants continue to operate and supply products to retail stores and institutional customers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning to retailers and consumers about the contaminated ice cream, noting identifying labeling on the bottoms of Blue Blue ice cream containers link the products to the Oklahoma production facility. Those products can be identified by checking for letters “O,” “P,” “Q,” “R,” “S,” and “T” following the “code date” printed on the bottom of the product package.
The dairy company, based in Brenham, issued two recalls last month after ice cream contaminated with listeria monocytogenes was linked to the three deaths in Kansaa. The first recall involved 10 products, while the second recall came after three flavors of institutional ice cream cups at the Kansas hospital tested positive for the bacterium. On Tuesday, Blue Bell added its Banana Pudding Ice Cream produced in Oklahoma to the list.