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Blue Bell Could Be Back On Shelves In Weeks, Lawsuits Certain

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Nora Jones usually keeps a freezer full of Blue Bell.

"Yea, all the time!" she said.

Now she's playing it safe, sampling alternatives at Carnival Barker's Ice Creams.

"The urge has to be taken care of," she said.

"Blue Bell, you know, they're the go to ice cream company," said owner, Aaron Barker.

He's not happy people are getting sick, but can't deny it brings him new customers.

"Who are they going to go to? They're going to go to someone local who they can trust, and that's me!"

Local retailers say they're waiting on Blue Bell to pick up their remaining stock and refund them the cost of it.

But, the CDC has found Listeria may have been lurking in Blue Bell products for years.

Tests confirm the same strain found in Blue Bell production plants has appeared in samples from least 10 patients, the earliest became ill five years ago.

"It appears that Blue Bell facilities have had some level of contamination since January 2010," said Ron Simon, an attorney specializing in food poisoning cases.

His firm, Ron Simon & Associates, now represents 13 and 16 year old siblings in Fort Worth, who he says were hospitalized and diagnosed with Listeria earlier this month after eating Blue Bell ice cream.

Simon says more than a hundred people have called his law firm concerned the ice cream may have sickened them, but he says, few will be able to definitively prove it.

"It's alarming how many people have turned up sick after eating this ice cream," said Simon.

Many more, he believes, may have been exposed and never grown ill, or ill enough to be hospitalized and diagnosed.

Jones says, the recall won't put a stop to her sweet tooth, even if she'll have to go without her favorite brand.

"I love ice cream. Can't live without it," she said.


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