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Blue Bell pulls products over listeria concerns

The Blue Bell ice cream recall continues on an even larger scale. The ice cream company is pulling all of its products out of store freezers due a deadly listeria outbreak.

The company said the larger recall decision came after sampling showed listeria in chocolate chip cookie dough half-gallons from March 17th and March 25th. The recall is for products in Missouri and more than 20 other states. So far, three people have died and multiple people have gotten sick from eating the Blue Bell products.

“They come in and inspect. They have to sign off that it’s meeting requirements. That doesn’t mean that you can hide every little microorganism, that is, prevent it from getting into a product,” said Dr. Robert Marshall, professor emeritus of the University of Missouri Food Science Department.

Listeria is a food-borne illness that can cause fever, muscle aches and even death. It mostly affects newborns or people with weakened immune systems. Blue Bell said it doesn’t know yet how the bacteria ended up in its products. The company said it’s committed to doing the right thing with the massive recall.

“A reputation is important to these kinds of firms because they’re selling nationwide. They’re respected, they have a wonderful product. It means they’ve got to do something and they’ve got to do it quickly,” said Marshall.

Blue Bell said it has expanded daily cleaning and sanitizing. The company said it’s sending daily samples in for testing and is also providing additional employee training.

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