It's been kind of a rough week in the world and now on top of everything else, Bluebell has recalled some of its most popular ice cream flavors over listeria concerns. Which Bluebell cookie dough ice cream has been recalled? You'll want to check your freezer for these four flavors.
The company, based in Texas, decided to issue a voluntary recall Monday night after it was notified that an ingredient used in its cookie dough flavored ice creams may have been exposed to listeria. The third party supplier of the ingredient notified purchasers, and from there, each company could decided whether to issue a recall on products.
This isn't the first, nor will it be the last, recall of tasty treats because of listeria concerns: Nestlé also issued a nationwide recall on Tuesday for its famous Drumstick ice cream cones after they tested positive for listeria in one of the California factories.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause potentially serious illness called Listeriosis — especially in pregnant women, who are 10 times more likely to be infected. The symptoms are usually fever, body aches, and gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, which can be serious for the young and elderly who may be at risk for dehydration. The incubation period can vary between just a few days up to over two months (the average is about a month) and symptoms can persist for weeks.
Bluebell has four different ice cream flavors that were included in the recall:
Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Blue Bell Cookie Two Step sold to retail outlets, and three gallon flavors sold to food service accounts including Blue Bell Blue Monster, Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Blue Bell Krazy Kookie Dough. These products were produced from February 2, 2016 through September 7, 2016.
Bluebell said the affected pints were distributed to the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
So far, no illnesses have been reported. If you discover you have a pint of the recalled flavors in your freezer, you can either toss it out or take it back to the store where you purchased it and get a refund.
In the United States there are around 1,600 cases of listeria reported each year, but as is often the case with food borne illness, it could be a higher number since many people who get sick probably don't realize it. Around 260 deaths from food poisoning each year are linked to listeria bacteria. The largest listeriosis outbreak in the history of the United States happened back in 2011: 147 illnesses, 33 deaths, and 1 miscarriage occurred across 28 states. That outbreak was associated with cantaloupe.