The ice cream case in The Bean stands empty in the absence of Blue Bell, which recalled all products last week after 10 illnesses, including three deaths, were linked to the company’s frozen desserts.
The company’s troubles began in March when the bacteria listeria monocytogenes was found in a 3-ounce institutional/food service ice cream cup produced by Blue Bell Creameries. Since then, the bacteria has been found in two Blue Bell plants, and the company had to pull all products off the market for possible contamination.
Reactions to the recall at ACU range from frustration to lack of concern. Selina Thornton, sophomore psychology major from Lamar, Missouri, has been let down by The Bean’s recent lack of coffee-flavored ice cream.
“With only having a meal plan two more weeks, I’m even more disappointed that they don’t have any ice cream right now.” Thornton said. “It’s definitely a bummer, but I would rather not have ice cream and not get sick.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says listeria monocytogenes is found in soil, water and some animals. It can be present in raw milk -milk that has not been pasteurized – and foods made from raw milk. The bacteria can grow in cold temperatures and is killed by cooking and pasteurization.
Symptoms of listeria include fever, stiff neck, confusion, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea. If you have recently consumed Blue Bell ice cream and experience any of the mentioned symptoms, seek medical attention.
Macie Liptoi, junior ministry and vocation major from Plano, said this issue has not particularly affected her.
“I don’t get ice cream a lot,” Liptoi said. “When I do, I usually get Ben and Jerry’s anyway.”
The original recalled items were produced in the Blue Bell manufacturing plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Since then, Blue Bell has closed four plants in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas for a deep cleaning for at least a week.
The Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham issued a statement saying the company is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate the issue and find a solution.
In a public message to consumers, Blue Bell Creameries said once the investigation is complete and the company has made all the necessary improvements, it will return to normal operation.