Two other large retailers have decided to pull Blue Bell Ice Cream from their shelves as a precautionary measure after the company announced it was temporarily closing an Oklahoma production plant.
Sam's Club and Kroger have joined H-E-B in halting sales of Blue Bell products. The dairy company based in Brenham, Texas, last month issued a recall after ice cream contaminated with listeriosis was linked to three deaths at a Kansas hospital.
The foodborne illness was tracked to a production line in Brenham and later to a second line in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Blue Bell announced Friday that it had stopped all production at the Broken Arrow plant.
Company spokesman Gene Grabowski confirmed Monday that the number of large retailers pulling the ice cream has grown.
Some shoppers at a Tarrant County Kroger were caught off guard by the move.
"Actually I was expecting to buy Blue Bell all the product was off the shelves," said Joanne Gable.
There are signs on the doors of the emptied freezer cases with information about the recall for consumers.
But Blue Bell has loyal customers who trust that the company and health inspectors are doing the right thing.
"Been buying it for years and I'll buy it again as soon as it gets to market," said Earl Hunt.
Affected products include:
- Almond Bar
- Chocolate Chip Country Cookie
- Cotton Candy Bar
- Great Divide Bar
- No Sugar Added Mooo Bar (regular Mooo Bars are not included)
- Sour Pop Green Apple Bar
- Vanilla Stick Slices
- 3-ounce cups of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream that have tab lids
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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