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Blue Bell update … Symptoms of listeriosis to watch for in your child.

The Doc Smitty gives update on listeriosis outbreak

Blue Bell has made the decision to pull all of its products off the shelf because of concerns that more products may contain listeria monocytogenes. The decision came after an enhanced sampling by Blue Bell found that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015, to March 27, 2015, contained the bacteria.

Listeriosis is a bacterium that most commonly causes fever, body aches with diarrhea and other stomach issues in healthy persons. It is contracted by eating food that has been contaminated with the bacteria.

It can cause more severe illness in people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, newborns and the elderly.

Three people have died and five others are ill in what is believed to be a result of a recent outbreak of Listeria following consumption of Blue Bell products. The Blue Bell press release said there have been several positive tests for listeria “in different plants.

Blue Bell has recalled all of its ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen snacks. If you have any of the products do not eat them and throw them out. If your child does become ill, contact your doctor and let them know that they have been exposed to the contaminated products.

Symptoms of Listeriosis include:


  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

Can progress to nervous system involvement (headache, stiff neck, confusion)


  • Poor feeding
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

About the author

Justin Smith, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Lewisville . View more from The Doc Smitty at his Facebook page. He attended University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and did his pediatric training at Baylor College of Medicine. He joins Cook Children's after practicing in his hometown of Abilene for four years. He has a particular interest in development, behavior and care for children struggling with obesity. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 3 young children, exercising, reading and writing about parenting and pediatric health issues.