Most of us usually don’t give much thought to how food poisoning could potentially affect our lives until we are faced with the horrible symptoms and have to recover from the illness. A recent massive news story evolved over the past few days involving the popular Blue Bell ice cream brand, with claims surfacing that the ice cream was causing patrons to become very sick with listeria; that’s quite an illness.
Just this past Saturday, a large Texan grocery store chain H-E-B yanked all of their Blue Bell ice cream stock due to the recent CDC notifications that approximately three people died as a result of consuming the ice cream products. Rueters reported that the patients evidently passed away as a result of Literiosis being contracted from eating Blue Bell ice cream whilst in a hospital setting in Kansas. Listeria is a bacterial infection that can grow with ease in cold temperatures.
Symptoms of listeria are as follows:
- Lethargic or Confused
- Feeling weak similar to the flu
- Neck pain or a feeling of stiffness
The illness can linger for weeks if not treated properly, and obviously be fatal in some cases. What makes this type of food borne illness very unique, is that it can thrive in cold temperatures. Most food poisoning doesn’t develop in refrigerated climates, as most are well versed on preserving foods by placing them in the fridge. Listeria can be terminated through pasteurization or cooking the foods. Those who can be at a particularly higher risk to suffer from complications of listeria are pregnant women, senior citizens, HIV/AIDS patients, cancer patients, or anyone who is suffering from a weakened immune system. Some may also be at a higher risk if they are prescribed certain medications that can alter the system if they are awaiting an organ transplant, or recently had transplant surgery of any sort. Anyone suffering from liver disease, alcoholism, or diabetes can also have severe reactions to listeria.
Blue Bell has done their due diligence in the matter by suspending the plant in Oklahoma where the tainted ice cream was created. The organization has closed more than one plant in Oklahoma where products have failed recent testing until the investigation and problems seem to be corrected. The company is working closely with the FDA and adhering to all measures needed to hopefully get back on track.