Three patients at a Kansas hospital who ate Blue Bell ice cream tainted with listeria have died, LA Times reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating food tainted with listeria monocytogenes can lead to listeriosis. Patients with listeriosis often develop a fever and muscle aches; they may also suffer from diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems.
Five patients in the hospital were infected, according to the CDC. All but one of these patients drank milkshakes made with a single serving of Blue Bell’s Scoops ice cream at the hospital, which “strongly suggests their infections were acquired in the hospital” CDC says, according to LA Times. The patients were being treated for unrelated issues.
According to health officials, the contaminated ice cream was not solely to blame for the patients’ deaths. “These people had been in and out of the hospital for other reasons,” said Sara Belfry, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, to the Los Angeles Times. “This was a contributing cause, not the only cause.”
This is the first product recall Blue Bell has ever issued. The outbreak can be traced to products made on a single production line at Blue Bell Creameries’ plant in Brenham, Texas. The most recent outbreak was two months ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. The company stated that “This withdrawal in no way includes our half gallons, quarts, pints, cups, three-gallon ice cream or the majority of take-home frozen snack novelties,”