Blue Bell expands ice cream recall

3 people died in past year from listeria potentially linked to company's products

(Kristen Taylor/Wikimedia Commons)

More Blue Bell ice cream products are being recalled because of possible listeria contamination, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The contaminant was traced to a second production facility operated by Blue Bell, a company spokesman and health officials told The Associated Press.

The company expanded a recall that was announced earlier this month to include chocolate, strawberry and vanilla cups with pull tabs that are shipped in bulk, the AP reported.

Listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with listeria, primarily affects the elderly, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the United States, an estimated 1,600 people become seriously ill each year; approximately 16% of these illnesses result in death. Cervical infections caused by listeriosis in pregnant women may result in spontaneous abortion during the second or third trimesters or stillbirth.

Three people have died in the past year during a listeria outbreak that has been potentially linked to Blue Bell Creameries products, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

A total of five people contracted the serious infection. All of them had been patients at a Kansas hospital and most of them consumed ice cream while being treated for unrelated causes between January 2014 and January of this year, according to KDHS.

Consumers can return the items where they bought them for full refunds or call the company at (979)-836-7977.

A list of all affected products can be found here.