Nothing says that summer is over more than a batch of delicious ice cream being recalled. Fortunately, if you still have some stocked in your freezer, there are a few ways to tell if your Blue Bell Ice Cream was recalled or if it's safe for after-dinner sundaes. The thing is, it's not just any old ice cream. It's Blue Bell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, which is quite possibly one of the best flavors around. So this is a major bummer on all sorts of levels.
According to the company, one of Blue Bell's suppliers, Aspen Hills, Inc., has issued a voluntary recall of its no-egg deliciousness because of a possible listeria contamination. The companies are voluntarily recalling product sold in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. No illnesses have been reported, but consumers are advised to not eat the ice cream if they have it and return any product to stores for a full refund.
The recall is limited the following code numbers found on the bottom of the carton, according to a Blue Bell statement on their Facebook page:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough half gallons with the code date 082618226
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough pints with the code dates 081518242 and 082418242
- Cookie Two Step half gallons with the code dates 080418222 and 081818224
It may be tempting to risk it over it a possible listeria contamination, but don't do it, no matter how badly you want it. Listeria is a bacteria that can grow in even the coldest temperatures and can be very harmful to people with weakened immune systems, such as children and the elderly. It's not something anyone wants to mess around with.
The recall is voluntary from a third party supplier, but this has happened to Blue Bell before. In April of 2015, the company had to recall its entire product line to a listeria contamination at its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma plant. It was a major mess up. A report by the Food and Drug Administration found that the plant didn't monitor the temperature of water that was used for cleaning equipment and even the building was constructed, leading random drips and leaks to come into contact with the packaging materials.
In March 2015, the report states, employees were "traveling from sanitary food production areas to non-sanitary areas including ... outside smoking areas ... without cleaning and sanitizing prior to re-entry into the sanitary food production areas." The FDA's report led to a complete shutdown of production and led to massive layoffs in 2015. The company has since reorganized its production supply and sanitation procedures.
Hopefully, this recent recall doesn't get any bigger — for the sake of ice cream lovers and Blue Bell employees alike.