Blue Bell Ice Cream is at the center of a massive food-borne illness investigation, which has already taken the lives of three people, and also made more people sick. In connection to the recent deaths, Blue Bell has decided to suspend the operations at the production facility in Broken Arrow Oklahoma, which is where the food-borne illness began until further testing is done at the facility. Due to the recent outbreak and subsequent deaths, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people they should throw out the Blue Bell products if they come from the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma facility.
If you have purchased Blue Bell products, you need to check the label to see if O, P, Q, R, S, T is found before the code date. You will see this label with the code at the bottom of the product, and you should throw out the product if it has those letters, even if you have eaten some without feeling sick. The company is suspending operations at the facility and urging customers to throw out the products out of an abundance of caution, and assured the public that it will get to the bottom of the problem and fix it immediately.
The Broken Arrow facility was in the news last month because listeriosis was found in 3-ounce ice cream cups that were produced at the facility. The vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate cups however we not sold in retail stores, but they were shipped to hospitals and various facilities that purchase in bulk. That was also not the first time Blue Bell has made the news this year, because 10 different products were recalled back in March from a different facility in Brenham, Texas. The company has been in business for over 108 years, and the listeriosis outbreak which started in December 2013 until January 2015, was the first recall the company has ever had to make. Listeriosis is a big deal, since it’s a life-threatening infection, and it was determined four people drank the contaminated milkshakes from a hospital in Kansas. In that recall, three people ended up dying because of the serious nature of the listeriosis infection, which was made worse by the fact these people already had a compromised immune system from being in the hospital.
When it comes to outbreaks such as listeriosis or simple food-borne illness, it is always best to throw away the product in question, even when you don’t feel any symptoms related to the illness suspected. If you continue eating products that are contaminated by the bacteria in question, you can still manage to get sick, especially if you are someone who has a compromised immune system. Some typical medical conditions actually cause compromised immune systems, such as diabetes, which makes it easier to get sick even if you hardly ingest the contaminated product. The CDC believes that the best way to prevent serious illness is to always check product recall lists to determine whether or not the product you have is one affected by a recall.
You should also pay attention to your body when you have ingested part of a product that has been recalled, such as in the Blue Bell Ice Cream situation. Make sure that you see a doctor if you feel any symptoms coming on, such as fever, body aches, nausea, cramps, and diarrhea. The quicker you realize that you were indeed infected with the bacteria or illness, the sooner you can get treatment, and in some situations that might save your life. You also should make sure that children do not eat the products that have been recalled, so always throw the products away outside in the trash, and never just place it in a location where a child could grab a hold of it.