Just as soon as you think everything’s back to normal, Blue Bell Ice Cream hits you square in the back of the head with yet another big, gooey ball of listeria (“at least it didn’t hit me square in the mouth,” you think), sending you unhappily spiraling back into ice cream paranoia.
Blue Bell Recalls Two Flavors of Ice Cream Citing Fears of Listeria Contamination
And that is just what happened this Wednesday evening, when the creamery announced a recall of select ice cream produced at the company’s Sylacauga, Alabama plant using chocolate chip cookie dough from Aspen Hills, Inc., a third-party supplier based in Garner, Iowa.
The “culprit,” if you will, in this recall is not Bluebell. If you need to find someone to be mad at, you have no further to look than Aspen Hills,
Inc., which set everything in motion when it supplied Blue Bell with chocolate chip cookie dough ingredient that did not pass the creamery’s “intensified internal testing.”
After identifying the potential problem through the intensified testing, the company “notified Aspen Hills.” Aspen Hills, in turn, issued a voluntary recall of the products supplied to Blue Bell in an “Urgent Voluntary Recall: No Egg Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 03-3014.”
Blue Bell Recalls: Like Taking Ice Cream From a Screaming Baby
The voluntary recall involved three lots – lots #9181, #9213 and #9252 – of “No Egg Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 03-3014.” On July 26, 2016, Aspen Hills shipped 578 cases of the recalled dough to Blue Bell’s Sylacauga, Alabama plant. Then, on August 9th and 22nd, the company shipped a cumulative 1,358 cases of recalled dough to Blue Bell’s Brenham plants.
Blue Bell issued the following statement:
“Although our products in the marketplace have passed our test and hold program, which requires that finished product samples test negative for listeria monocytogenes, Blue Bell is initiating this recall out of an abundance of caution. This recall is being conducted in cooperation with the FDA.“
At least Rocky Mountain Road had not yet made it back to the shelves, or some serious fisticuffs may have broken out in grocery stores across the recall zone. When company operations began again, Blue Bell produced only Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream, and has slowly diversified its offerings as time has gone by.
Likewise, initially limited distribution has grown outward, and Blue Bell continues to slowly reappear on shelves of frozen aisles further and further away from Brenham. So it came to be in Raleigh, where Blue Bell had delivered tubs for the first time since the shut-down only two days before the voluntary recall, no one was sure if the city was the butt of some terrible joke; and if it wasn’t, whether they should fling open the doors to the grocery store freezers and take as much ice cream from the shelves as possible before it disappeared again, or stand back in fear of some microscopic force preventing anyone from enjoying what they had just so recently rediscovered.
Products subject to the recall only made it to ten states prior to the time that Blue Bell’s intensified testing procedure identified a potential problem that set said recall on its way. The ten recipients were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The recall affects only two flavors of ice cream: COOKIE TWO STEP and CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH. Ironically, Cookie Two Step was one of the new flavors developed by Blue Bell that did not exist at the time the company voluntarily ceased all operations in Summer 2015.
Blue Bell’s recall affects the following products:
- COOKIE TWO STEP (Half Gallon) with Code Dates 080418222 and 081818224
- CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH (Half Gallon) with Code Date 082618226
- CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH (Pint) with Code Dates 081518242 and 08241824
It’s good to see some of the additional safeguards Blue Bell has put in place in action, and even more wonderful that we will not have to experience yet another summer Blue Bell [Ice Cream] drought.
If you or a family member became ill have been diagnosed with Listeria and you would like to explore pursuing a legal claim, contact an attorney at Ron Simon & Associates for a free case evaluation by calling 1-888-335-4901 or filling out our free case evaluation form. Attorneys at Ron Simon & Associates have represented victims in past Listeria outbreaks, including the Blue Bell outbreak in 2015.