Arizona joins growing tally of Blue Bell listeria cases

Apr 21, 2015, 11:13 AM | Updated: 11:54 am
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PHOENIX — The Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday that a listeria illness linked to Blue Bell ice cream was confirmed in Arizona.

The Texas creamery has recalled all its products, pulling chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream this week after samples tested positive for the bacteria.

Illnesses have been reported in three other states: Kansas, which included three deaths, Texas and Oklahoma.

The CDC said the illnesses happened between January 2010 and January 2015.

The company “cannot say with certainty” how the bacteria was introduced to its facilities, Blue Bell’s chief executive Paul Kruse said in a statement.

Originally, the ice cream maker had pulled some products in March after five people in Kansas became ill while in the hospital. At least four of them drank Blue Bell shakes sold only to institutions.

Two grocers in Arizona stopped carrying any Blue Bell products — Sam’s Club and Fry’s earlier this month.

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks were added to the recall.

Listeria can cause fever, muscle pain and stomach problems.

The 108-year-old family-owned company had never had a recall before.

The company released a video statement:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona joins growing tally of Blue Bell listeria cases