Cobb County Schools tosses ice cream over
by Ellie Harding
April 21, 2015 01:50 PM | 270 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Citing safety concerns, Cobb schools have removed all Blue Bell Creameries products because of a company recall, according to a press release from the school system.
The recall is due to a possible listeria contamination in half-gallon containers of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, according to Jennifer Gates, assistant director of communications for Cobb County Schools.
Gates confirmed that all Blue Bell products were marked and pulled from every school in the district and are scheduled to be picked up by the Atlanta branch of Blue Bell Creameries.

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Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) holds his finger as he walks off the court after being injured in the second half of an NBA playoff basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 99-92. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) holds his finger as he walks off the court after being injured in the second half of an NBA playoff basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 99-92. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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CDC: 10 listeria illnesses now linked to Blue Bell foods
by Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press
April 21, 2015 01:35 PM | 70 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this April 10, 2015, file photo, Blue Bell ice cream rests on a grocery store shelf in Lawrence, Kan. Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a voluntary recall Monday, April 20, 2015, for all of its products on the market after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeriosis. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
In this April 10, 2015, file photo, Blue Bell ice cream rests on a grocery store shelf in Lawrence, Kan. Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a voluntary recall Monday, April 20, 2015, for all of its products on the market after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeriosis. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
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HOUSTON (AP) — Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries has recalled all of its products after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria.

Federal health officials say they're now aware of 10 listeria illnesses linked to ice cream and other products made by the company over the last five years, including three deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously reported eight illnesses from Kansas and Texas, including the three deaths in Kansas. The agency said Tuesday that two more illnesses have been confirmed in Oklahoma and Arizona.

Those sickened fell ill between January 2010 and January 2015.

The recall includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks distributed in 23 states and abroad because the products "have the potential to be contaminated," according to the statement.

The company "cannot say with certainty" how the bacteria was introduced to its facilities, Blue Bell's chief executive Paul Kruse said in a statement.

"We're committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe," Kruse said.

The first recall in the family-owned creamery's 108-year history was issued last month after the CDC and state health officials linked ice cream contaminated with listeria to the three deaths at a Kansas hospital.

The illness was tracked to a production line in Brenham, Texas, and later to a second line in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Monday's recall also applies to products produced in a Sylacauga, Ala plant.

The new samples of tainted ice cream were discovered through a testing program the company initiated after its first recall, according to the statement.

Monday's recall extends to retail outlets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming and international locations.

The manufacturing facility in Oklahoma where operations were suspended earlier this month for sanitizing will remain closed as Blue Bell continues to investigate the source of the bacteria, the statement said.

Blue Bell is implementing a process to test all of its products before releasing them to the market, with plans to resume limited distribution soon.

The company said it is also expanding its cleaning and sanitization system, beefing up its employee training, expanding its swabbing system by 800 percent to include more surfaces and is sending daily samples to a microbiology laboratory for testing.

Listeria primarily affects pregnant women and their newborns, older adults and people with immune systems weakened by cancer, cancer treatments, or other serious conditions.

___

Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report from Washington.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wheeler dies after leading Ga. veterans agency for 6 decades
April 21, 2015 01:30 PM | 21 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA (AP) — Pete Wheeler, who served as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service for more than six decades, has died at age 92.

The state agency's spokesman, Jon Suggs, said Wheeler died early Tuesday at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Suggs said Wheeler had been on medical leave since late summer, but still played a daily role in running the department.

Wheeler became commissioner of the Department of Veterans Service in 1954. He was Georgia's longest-serving agency head and worked under a dozen governors from Herman Talmadge to Nathan Deal. He served as an Army infantry instructor during World War II and later joined the National Guard, rising to the rank of brigadier general.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson praised Wheeler for his "immeasurable contribution" to more than 750,000 Georgia veterans.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Hawks C Horford now says he's definitely playing Game 2
by Paul Newberry, AP Sports Writer
April 21, 2015 01:15 PM | 30 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) holds his finger as he walks off the court after being injured in the second half of an NBA playoff basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 99-92. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) holds his finger as he walks off the court after being injured in the second half of an NBA playoff basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 99-92. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Hawks center Al Horford says he's definitely playing Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets.

Horford dislocated his right pinky finger in the series opener, won by the Hawks 99-92. After a workout Monday, he said there was still some doubt about his playing status. But, after a full practice Tuesday, Horford said the finger feels much better and he's certain to be in the starting lineup.

Atlanta's other ailing starter, forward Paul Millsap, practiced without a padded shirt he's worn since missing five games with a shoulder injury. He's hoping to go without it in Game 2, believing that will improve his range of motion.

The Hawks host the Nets on Wednesday night, before the best-of-seven series shifts to Brooklyn for Games 3 and 4.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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