Listeria Deaths Traced to Ice Cream

A Listeria outbreak that has led to three deaths is being traced to ice creams produced at the Blue Bell Creamery in Texas. The deaths occurred at a hospital in Wichita, Kansas, where contaminated Blue Bell Creamery ice cream was served to patients. Food injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm detail this outbreak.

The FDA released a Safety Alert on March 13, 2015, detailing all the information it had on the outbreak. In the Alert, the agency noted that four rare strains of Listeria were found in three Blue Bell Creamery products: the Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwich, single-serving Scoops ice cream, and the Great Divide Bar.

All patients exposed to Listeria at the hospital were served pre-packaged, single-serving products and milkshakes made from these Blue Bell products. All those affected are adults. Blue Bell has removed the affected products from the market and shut down the production line where the contamination occurred.

Any of these Blue Bell products purchased before the recall may be contaminated with Listeria, however. Listeria is among the most dangerous foodborne pathogens and can be fatal, particularly in certain vulnerable groups. High-risk groups include pregnant women, the elderly, small children, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

Symptoms of Listeria poisoning include: fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, chills, and gastrointestinal issues. These symptoms can appear a few days to a few weeks after consuming the contaminated food.

Blue Bell Creameries has removed the following products from market:

• 12 pack No Sugar Added Mooo Bars • 6 pack Cotton Candy Bars • 6 pack Sour Pop Green Apple Bars • Almond Bars • Chocolate Chip Country Cookie • Cotton Candy Bar • Great Divide Bar • Scoops • Sour Pop Green Apple Bar • Vanilla Stick Slices

It is important that anyone who has purchased these products discard them immediately.

Listeria Lawsuits

Because Listeria is so dangerous, lawsuits over food contaminations are not uncommon. By far the deadliest Listeria outbreak occurred in 2011, when at least 33 people died from eating cantaloupe contaminated is Listeria. The Colorado farm responsible for the outbreak, Jensen Farms, was shut down and the owners pled guilty to introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Each of the owners was fined $150,000 and 100 hours of community service in restitution. Investigators determined that the cantaloupes were contaminated by dirty water on the floor of Jensen Farms’ packing house and on old equipment.

Dozens of wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits were also filed against the farm, which recently concluded in a confidential settlement. The lawsuits were filed by families of those who died from Listeria infection, against 15 defendants including Jensen Farms, its food safety auditor Primus Group, and several retailers and restaurants. Walmart agreed to settle claims separately with the families, who sued the company for selling the contaminated cantaloupes.

The team of contaminated food lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm urges anyone seriously sickened by foodborne illness to contact our firm. We provide free legal consultations to potential clients in 50 states, and we never charge any attorneys’ fees unless we are successful in your case.

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