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The Burgeoning Blue Bell Black Market Wants to Sell You Pre-Recall Ice Cream

Last month, a massive recall spurred by fears of listeria contamination left many people bereft of their favorite Blue Bell ice cream. But never fear: The online black market has plenty of pre-recall ice cream ready to sell.
Photo via Flickr user rs12240

How much do you like ice cream? Enough to enter into the Korean black market? How about enough to renounce your religion and join the Chosen? Or manhandle hordes of frenzied female bodybuilders?

Well, some intrepid entrepreneurs seem to have found a black market in recalled and possibly toxin-tainted Blue Bell ice cream—thanks to a very loyal public with masochistic levels of obsession. These titans of commerce have taken to Craigslist and eBay in the hopes of filling the scoop-sized void and capitalizing on Blue Bell ice cream's general recall, despite findings that the stuff very well may be teeming with potentially fatal listeria bacteria.


Car companies have long found that consumers ignore recalls, with some 30 percent of drivers continuing to drive their cars as-is following a recall. But food recalls are, for the most part, completely different. Right? Especially when the stakes are explosive diarrhea, vomiting, and death, you would think the public would take heed, wouldn't you?

Apparently not.

Blue Bell's frozen delights are especially popular throughout the South and Midwest—or at least they were until April 20, when the company recalled all of its products currently on the market, after initially pulling only some products in limited markets.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that, to date, ten patients have been infected with listeria in four states (Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas) all from eating Blue Bell ice cream. Three of these people—who were already in a hospital for other causes when they consumed the ice cream—have died. Symptoms of listeria infection include fever, diarrhea, and other awesome forms of gastrointestinal distress. The very old, the very young, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems are at particular risk.

The FDA says, "Customers should not eat any Blue Bell products." The CDC agrees.

But online sellers say otherwise. eBay pulled ads for the tainted ice cream, but merchants on Craigslist continue to search for buyers.

One Craigslist posting from Spicewood, Texas, features an unopened pint of Blue Bell Krazy Kookie Dough for the discount price of $1,000, and is kind enough to include a picture of the serial number, just in case you and your shadowy partners wanted to verify that the goods are pre-recall.


And if you thought you might be able get your Erin Brockovich on and sue him after eating it, sorry, but the dude totally has his bases covered: "Buyer assumes all responsibility for transport, and or any listeria contracted from product as well."

Just in case you thought that it might have been a one-time occurrence, how about this other post for a $500 half tub of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, whose poster is so kind as to "sample the blue bell [sic] in front of legitimate buyers (Legitimate meaning CASH in HAND)." Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering whatever happened to the other half: "No listeria (I ate the first half and i'm still here)," says the poster. Talk about looking out for the little guy!

Note this other Houston poster who boldly claims, "I've Got the motherload of bell" and "This add [sic] doesn't have to be the Great divide so don't banana split on me and Shoot me a text and come on down for some pre-listeria goodness."

But could he possible have all the flavors I'm craving alongside my impending doom? "Buttercrunch, GOT THAT! do you love chocolate? Me too and YES I got that. Feeling that cookies and milk? You know I got that. I got the hot fudge brownie hit you hard as Clowney. Magic cookie bar….abracadabra baby I got that."

All things told, I'd rather go out a sticky, bloated mess, swimming in a lap pool of melted rum raisin like a real rock star than due to a malfunctioning General Motors starter.

So recalls be damned. Pass the spoon.