FORSYTH COUNTY — Though the Forsyth County Schools’ nutrition department does not provide any Blue Bell ice cream or frozen products involved in the voluntary recall issued this week by the Texas-based company, some cafeterias have pulled items they sell on a school-by-school basis, officials said.
Blue Bell Creameries announced Monday night the voluntary recall of all products on the market — including ice cream, frozen yogurt and snacks and sherbet — after a sampling of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream half-gallons tested positive for listeria.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections and presents a higher risk for pregnant women, newborns, adults 65 years and older and anyone with a weakened immune system.
Matt Cardoza, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education, said school systems cannot be required to pull products, though he expected most to do so.
“Our nutrition staff doesn’t sell ice cream out of their department,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the local school system.
She did, however, reach out to schools to determine whether individual cafeterias sell items.
Five — Big Creek, Brookwood and Daves Creek elementary schools, as well as Otwell and Lakeside middle schools — confirmed they have pulled their Blue Bell inventories.
Five other schools responded that they carry Mayfield ice cream products.
As of Tuesday morning, Caracciolo said she was awaiting responses from the district’s 24 other public schools. She expects more carry Blue Bell.
“As a precaution, we have been sending recall information to cafeteria managers and school bookkeepers since we became aware of [the recall,” Caracciolo said.
Schools have been told Blue Bell plans to refund costs incurred due to the recall.
Some of Georgia’s largest school districts, including Cobb, DeKalb and Cherokee counties, have announced the removal of all Blue Bell products.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 10 people from four states — Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas — have been confirmed with the illness. Three deaths have been reported from Kansas.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.