Blue Bell is expanding the recall of some ice cream products because of possible exposure to the listeria bacteria.
Blue Bell is recalling 3-ounce cups of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream that have tab lids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the cups could be contaminated with the bacteria, which can cause fatal infections in young children, the elderly and others with weakened immune systems.
The ice cream cups were distributed in 23 states, including Texas, but were not sold in retail stores.
The Blue Bell creamery in Brenham, Texas, earlier this month recalled several other products made on the same production line after listeria was detected.
Five people developed listeriosis in Kansas after eating Blue Bell products and the FDA says three of them died. The five ate the ice cream while hospitalized in Wichita for unrelated causes.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscles aches, which is sometimes preceded by diarrhea. The bacteria usually spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms can differ among those who are infected. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms, but the risks are higher for pregnant women.
From the CDC:
Pregnant women typically experience fever and other non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn. For those who are not pregnant, symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Some cases result in death, which is more likely in the elderly and those with other serious medical issues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.