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Blue Bell Black Market


Dog eating blue bell ice cream out of carton

We all do crazy things for love. We catch grenades, throw our hands on blades, jump in front of trains… oh wait, maybe that’s just Bruno Mars—but we know the feeling: that willingness to risk our own safety for something we love.

Amidst the listeria outbreak that pulled all Blue Bell products off retail shelves (with no indication of when they will return) people are praying on this human tendency by creating an online black market for the beloved Blue Bell ice creams.

Tubs (and partial tubs) of Blue Bell ice creams have been posted online at prices between $5 and $10,000. Just as the prices range, the current state and perceived contamination range as well.

One seller from Dallas, Texas posted, “I have half a tub of Blue bell Homemade Vanilla flavor ice cream left. No listeria (I ate the first half and i’m still here). I am willing to sample the blue bell in front of legitimate buyers (Legitimate meaning CASH in HAND). Please reply to posting Can’t guarantee it for long……I might get hungry! Pics coming soon”. He was asking $500.

The $10,000 tub in Spicewood, Texas, had not gotten any takers for the full pint, but the seller reported a counter-offer of $20 to lick the lid. In his post the seller releases himself from “any Listeria contracted from the product”.

Other “pre-recall” tubs were being offered on eBay for $50. (eBay has since pulled all postings for recalled ice creams as it violates their recalled items policy).

Even though the “pre-recall” may be tempting (and reasonable—by very loose definition of the word—in comparison with the offers), Blue Bell’s frequently asked questions still advises against eating any old Blue Bell products.

It remains to be seen if any other ice cream “entrepreneurs” pop up in the coming weeks or if any cash will actually be exchanged in this market, but it seems the safest choice (as is usually the case with black markets) is to just steer clear.

Or as we previously suggested, try out a couple (listeria-free) ice cream recipes at home!

Feature Photo Credit: “Moo-llennium” by Lee D’Angelo | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Amy Fukuizumi

Amy loves few things more than writing and cheese. As a testament to these loves, she drove across the country to join culture: the word on cheese. Her goal as Social Media Manager is to make the world (digitally) feel this love (and 'Like' it a lot).