After H-E-B, the Texas grocery chain recalled all the Blue Bell products from its shelves, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) followed the suit and emptied its shelves of Blue Bell products. The recall occurred after ice cream tainted with listeriosis caused the death of three in Kansas.
In March, Blue Bell recalled ten products from its Brenham plant. It was the first recall by Blue Bell in its 108 year history. The whole episode began when five patients at Wichita hospital got ill with listeriosis in December 2013.
Listeriosis is a food borne disease that is life threatening and typically effects people with weak immune systems like newborns and older adults.
The food borne illness was linked to products from a production line in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and another one in Brenham. Blue Bell announced that it had halted making any products at the said facilities.
According to Gene Grabowski, spokesman for Blue Bell, more and more retailers were pulling its product from their shelves as a pre-emptive measure. Albertsons, Tom Thumb, and Kroger all had pulled Blue Bell products from their stores.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday announced that it recommends people to not consume any Blue Bell products from the Broken Arrow facility. It also suggested the retailers and institutions to not sell or serve the products.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), HEB and Central Market have gone a step further and have removed all Blue Bell products from their shelves. Grabowski added that the company would assist in recalling the products and apologised for the event.
Products of Blue Bell were recalled from H-E-B stores including locations on Harker Heights store on Indian Trail, Sore on the North Gray Street and Trimmier Road in Killeen and store in Copperas Cove on East U.S. Highway 190.H-E-B spokesperson, Leslie sweet did not give any timeline for restocking of Blue Bell products.
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