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No Blue Bell for Texas Rangers fans — this weekend, at least

AP

Blue Bell ice cream has been benched for the Texas Rangers home-opening weekend, which starts Friday with a game at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The popular Texas-made frozen treats will not be served during the club’s six-game home stand, which begins with Friday night’s game against the Houston Astros, Rangers spokesman John Blake said.

Brenham-based Blue Bell recalled many products this week after an investigation into cases of listeria bacteria infection involving five Kansas hospital patients, three of whom died. All those who were sickened had consumed ice cream products from a single production line, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company closed its Broken Arrow, Okla., creamery until the investigation is completed, and recalled several products.

“The Texas Rangers and our Globe Life Park in Arlington concessionaire Metroplex Sportservice are committed to providing a quality and safe experience for all of our fans,” Blake said an an email. “In light of recent events and out of an abundance of caution, we will not be offering Blue Bell Ice Cream products during our upcoming homestand. Blue Bell has been a valued partner of the Rangers for many years. We will remain in contact with company officials as they address this ongoing situation.”

The Rangers also canceled a Blue Bell promotion on Sunday that would have offered $1 ice cream for children 13 and under. The club didn’t disclose whether similar Sunday promotions scheduled later in the season would go on as planned.

Listeria bacteria were found in samples of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars and Scoops, the Food and Drug Administration reported. The FDA recalled those products, and seven others made on the same production line.

Then on Tuesday evening, Blue Bell officials issued a statement on the company’s website announcing it was expanding its recall of products made in the Broken Arrow plant to include Banana Pudding Ice Cream made between Feb. 15 and March 27.

Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796

Twitter: @gdickson

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