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CDC Warns Hospitals, Long-Term Care Facilities about Listeria Risk

Hospitals and long-term care facilities should not serve or sell Blue Bell brand ice cream products due to a risk of listeria contamination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended in an updated warning April 21.

Ten patients infected with several strains of listeria were reported in Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas as of April 20, the CDC said in a notice posted to its website. Information suggests the patients contracted listeria by eating ice cream products while hospitalized for unrelated causes.

Listeriosis is a life-threatening infection caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Pregnant women, newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk. In pregnant women, symptoms may include fever, fatigue, and aches. Infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or a life-threatening infection of the newborn. In others, symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.

Blue Bell has recalled all products currently on the market made at any of its facilities.

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