A voluntary recall is being issued for Blue Bell Ice Cream produced in its Sylacauga, Alabama facility because there is a chocolate chip cookie dough ingredient supplied by a third party supplier, Aspen Hills, Inc., that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
According to a recall notice posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website, the following half gallon products are affected (code dates are parentheses):
• Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (082618226)
• Blue Bell Cookie Two Step (080418222, 081818224)
One pint-sized product is also affected:
• Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (081518242, 082418242)
Consumers can find the code date located on the bottom of the carton. The recalled products were distributed to ten states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Eating food contaminated with listeria can lead to serious illness, which can be fatal in some cases. Young children, frail or elderly people and individuals with weakened immune systems are at greater risk. Pregnant women exposed to listeria can suffer miscarriage and stillbirth. Healthy individuals may only experience short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The recall has not been linked to any illnesses so far. Blue Bell discovered the problem through internal testing and notified Aspen Hills. Aspen Hills subsequently issued a voluntary recall of products that it supplied to Blue Bell. “Although our products in the marketplace have passed our test and hold program, which requires that finished product samples test negative for Listeria monocytogenes, Blue Bell is initiating this recall out of an abundance of caution.” the recall notice states.