Other big retailers join H-E-B in taking Blue Bell off shelves

Retailers across Texas are pulling Blue Bell products from store shelves. This after the company temporarily shut down an Oklahoma plant that makes those products because a deadly strain of bacteria was traced back to it.


It all started in early March when it was discovered that three people who died in Kansas shared a common link: listeria. The deadly strain of bacteria is commonly found in unpasteurized milk products or milk products that haven't been sterilized. It mainly affects elderly people, pregnant women, newborns, and people with a weakened immune system.

That listeria strain was traced back to the company's plant in Texas.

A test of another Blue Bell product showed traces of listeria. That was linked to the company's plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Blue Bell says they've closed the doors there as a precaution while they root out the problem.

The CDC made an announcement urging consumers not to eat any of the products made in the Oklahoma plant. Products made in other Blue Bell plants are not affected.

Retailers in Texas like Kroger, Sam's, Walmart, HEB, Randall's and Albertson's have all pulled the products.

Blue Bell Ice Cream is known as one of America's favorite but over the past month the company has taken quite a beating. At least one expert believes that Blue Bell can bounce back.

"They said look, this hasn't happened in 108 years which can show something about how this is not standard operating procedure for this company. The collective memory of the American consumer tends to be short. We do tend to be somewhat forgiving on the long stand of things," said Dr. Angeline Close Scheinbam, Associate Professor of Ad/PR at UT Austin.

A Blue Bell spokesperson tells us they believe the company has linked the bacteria to several sources and are looking to isolate it. They expect the Broken Arrow plant to re-open in a week to ten days.

FDA officials say they are investigating as well.


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