Last year, Blue Bell Creameries, the maker of Blue Bell ice cream, found itself in hot water after an outbreak of listeria resulted in colossal recalls, as well as the deaths of three people who ate the ice cream at a Kansas hospital. Ten people were also hospitalized.
In spite of all this, Blue Bell was still America’s favorite ice cream brand behind private label grocery store brands in 2015. The massive recall didn’t seem to have much of an impact on sales.
Listeria found in Blue Bell production facilities
But unfortunately, the latest news reveals Blue Bell is dealing with some deeply troubling information — listeria still exists in some parts of its production facilities.
As a part of Blue Bell’s facilities update, the company explained that it’s impossible to eradicate listeria from its production facilities entirely. What can be done, however, is sanitize the affected areas regularly and keep testing for the growth of any new bacteria.
Blue Bell has assured the public that the ice cream produced isn’t contaminated, and the company wants customers to know that each new batch of ice cream undergoes stringent tests to ensure safety.
Listeria is a foodborn bacteria that can survive frozen temperatures and causes listeriosis, a rare but potentially deadly food born illness. Listeriosis is especially dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, adults with weakened immune systems and the elderly, and can cause fever, muscle aches and abdominal pain. The fatality rate for those with severe listeriosis is about 25%, while salmonellosis caused by salmonella poisoning has a mortality rate of just 1%.
Customers may be happy to be able to enjoy Blue Bell’s products again, but experts say it’s important to be aware of the company’s procedures to ensure sanitary conditions in its facilities. The first outbreak allegedly happened after management cut corners and failed to listen to employee concerns.
To learn more about this update, you can read the press release located on the company’s website here.