HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Should you eat Blue Bell right now? The company says on its official website that you shouldn't consume their products, but rather "return the product to the store where you purchased it for a refund."
However, some people have other plans. They're looking for a return -- but one that's much higher than the retail price. About a month after the sweeping nationwide recall due to listeria fears, people are going through their freezers and looking to capitalize on their leftover Blue Bell products on Craigslist.
Prices range from $500 to $10,000 for Blue Bell products on the advertising site from sellers in Austin, Dallas, Spicewood and elsewhere. Some products purport to be unopened and new, while others are half-eaten, but it's jokingly considered a product perk: "How do I know it's disease free?" one writes. "Well, I ate half of it about 5 months ago, you know, for quality control, and I feel great!"
Whether a joke or a post for "serious inquiries only," the advertisements are reaching out to loyal fans who may be more than a little hungry for their beloved frozen treats. And it may be months before Blue Bell is back in store freezers.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are now 10 people in four states who have been sickened in connection with Blue Bell products. All 10 were hospitalized, and three people in Kansas who were already in the hospital for other reasons died.
The CDC's most recent update on May 7 addressing the outbreak "recommends that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell brand products, and that institutions and retailers do not serve or sell them."