Blue Bell recalls ice cream in Mississippi, Louisiana
NATCHEZ — The Vidalia Walmart is running low on ice cream.
They’re not alone, though.
Blue Bell Ice Cream recently recalled all of its products in response to potential product contamination of Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children and the elderly.
That means a number of distributors in the Natchez area were left without the popular sweet treat.
James Williams, assistant manager of the Vidalia Walmart, said the store is currently selling no Blue Bell products.
“We were told (by Blue Bell) to take all products to the back of the store and put them in the freezer until further notice,” Williams said.
Since the recall, Williams said he hasn’t had any customers inquire about Blue Bell products. He suspects most people have heard about the recall, and know not to purchase Blue Bell products.
“If it can cause a serious health problem, then that’s what we have to do — take it off our shelves,” Williams said. “I just wish there weren’t so many empty spots because of it.”
Blue Bell products have also been recalled from the Natchez Walmart, Natchez Markets and the Cash Saver.
Major grocery stores are not the only provider of the ice cream product, though.
Along with cups full of caffeine, Natchez Coffee Company also sells Blue Bell products.
“We were told to close all the cartons,” said the coffee shop’s manager, who wished to be unnamed.
Some restaurants, like the Malt Shop on Homochitto Street, have been unaffected by the recall.
Jessica Harrison, cashier at the Malt Shop, said the shop uses LuVel Milk and Ice Cream products for all their sweet treats.
“We’ve been extra busy the past few days,” Harrison said. “I don’t know if that’s because of the recall, but it may be.”
According to a press release released Monday by Blue Bell, Mississippi is among 23 states affected by the recall.
The recall was the result of an enhanced sampling program by Blue Bell, which revealed that chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream produced on March 17 and March 27 contained the bacteria.
“This means we have now had several positive tests for Listeria in different places and plants,” said Blue Bell Creameries CEO and President Paul Kruse in a press release.
According to the release, five patients were treated in Kansas and three in Texas after testing positive for the bacteria.
Until further notice, Blue Bell is advising customers return all Blue Bell products to the place of purchase for a full refund.