Kansas officials: Foodborne illness linked to ice cream not cause, possible factor in deaths

Markets Associated Press

Kansas health officials say a foodborne illness linked to some Blue Bell ice cream products may have been a contributing factor in the deaths of three hospital patients.

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But Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Sara Belfry said Saturday that listeriosis didn't cause the deaths.

Belfry said the only detail she could provide about the patients at Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita, Kansas, is that they were adults.

Hospital spokeswoman Maria Loving said she couldn't discuss why the patients were hospitalized, citing patient confidentiality laws.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says five people developed listeriosis in Kansas after eating products from one production line at the Blue Bell creamery in Brenham, Texas.