Blue Bell Creameries is recalling all of its products (04/20/2015), including ice creams, sherbets, frozen yogurts, and other snacks, owing to the detection of Listeria monocytogenes following an enhanced sampling program. This follows the company’s previous recall of a few ice cream flavors and sizes in March and early April 2015.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by consuming food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that it is an important public health problem in the United States. Of the estimated 1600 people who get infected each year in the USA, death occurs in 260 cases.
The population most at risk:
- Elderly and frail adults (4 times more likely to get infected than the general population)
- Pregnant women
- People with weakened immune systems
The CDC states that in rare cases, persons without the above-mentioned risk factors could also get affected.
So far, Blue Bell Creameries reports five cases of Listeriosis in Kansas and three in Texas.
If you believe that you might have consumed a contaminated product and have one or more of the following symptoms, consult a doctor immediately:
- Severe Headache
- Abdominal pain
- High fever
- Muscle aches
Warning for pregnant women:
- Pregnant women are ten times more likely to get infected with Listeria than the general population. The risk is even higher for pregnant Hispanic women, as they are 24 times more likely to get Listeria infection.
- The symptoms are usually non-specific such as fatigue, muscle aches, etc., although fever can also occur.
- Listeria infection during pregnancy could potentially lead to miscarriage, pre-term labor, stillbirth, or serious infection in the newborn.
If you are pregnant and think you might have been exposed to Listeria contaminated food, please consult your doctor immediately.
Written by Mangala Sarkar Ph.D.
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