Blue Bell issues total recall, not all stores get the memo

AUSTIN (KXAN) — News of Blue Bell’s total recall on its products has been broadcast throughout Texas and beyond, but not everyone selling the products in Austin has gotten the memo.

KXAN visited several stores—small and large—near downtown Austin to see if Blue Bell was still for sale Tuesday morning following the company’s announcement. Several of Austin’s larger grocery store chains had yanked Blue Bell products by 11 a.m., while some smaller retailers were still vending the product around noon.

At an Exposition Boulevard Randalls grocery store, shelves once filled with Blue Bell were vacant.

A note hanging on the glass door of the cleared-out cooler said, “Blue Bell has announced a recall of all products from all Blue Bell plants due to Listeria monocytogenes. No Blue Bell products will be sold until further notice.”

Blue Bell announced Monday it was recalling all of its currently available products because of potential listeria contamination. The bacteria can cause “serious and sometimes fatal infections” in frail people, small children and the elderly. Short-term symptoms include headache, vomiting, diarrhea and stiff neck, according to the U.S. Department of Health.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates there have been 10 cases of listeriosis in four states including Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Three deaths were reported in Kansas.

A Randalls manager deferred comments to company spokeswoman, Dawne Proffitt.

“We are complying with (Blue Bell’s) voluntary recall and have removed all the products from our shelves for pickup by Blue Bell,” Proffitt said.

Shelves at an H-E-B grocery store in Hyde Park were similarly lacking Blue Bell products. A spokesperson for H-E-B has not responded for comment.Empty Blue Bell Shelf

But at a few smaller retail locations, Blue Bell products were still on sale Tuesday.

Blue Bell products were also on sale at The Flag Store of Hyde Park on 45th Street just before noon. A clerk at that location declined to comment.

A Fiesta grocery store on Interstate 35 had pulled all of the Blue Bell products from shelves in the store before noon, but an ice cream stand in the front of the supermarket was still selling Blue Bell from 3-gallon tubs.

A Fiesta worker said the ice cream shop was independent of Fiesta and leasing the space.

KXAN spoke with Sunny Lelani, a supervisor of the shop, who said he had just spoken with Blue Bell and he was not selling the products anymore.

KXAN was also able to purchase a Blue Bell product at a 7-Eleven store on Lake Austin Boulevard. A clerk at IMG_0701that location was unaware of the recall at first, but appeared to begin pulling the product from the shelves after being notified.

 

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