Ice cream producer Blue Bell Creameries is recalling all of its products, further expanding an earlier recall that was originally launched after an outbreak of listeriosis in Kansas.
The company announced on Monday a voluntary recall of all of its products currently on the market made at all of its facilities because of the possible health risk. The recall includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks, all of which have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, Blue Bell said.
This decision was made when an enhanced sampling program revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream produced in March 2015 contained the bacteria. The discovery means that Blue Bell has now had several positive tests for Listeria in different places and plants.
"While we initially believed this situation was isolated to one machine in one room, we now know that was wrong. We need to know more to be completely confident that our products are safe for our customers," the company said in a statement.
Blue Bell is still not certain how Listeria was introduced to its facilities, but said that it is working with a team of experts to eliminate the problem.
Future production at all Blue Bell plants will be subject to a procedure called "test and hold". This means that all products will be tested and will only be released to the market once results show they are safe.
The manufacturer is also implementing additional safety procedures and testing, including an expansion of its "already robust" system of daily cleaning and sanitizing of equipment as well as swabbing and testing of the plant environment.
Blue Bell expects to resume distribution soon on a limited basis.