Blue Bell Creameries has identified the source of listeria contamination at its Oklahoma plant, but says it may not be able to identify a single source for the contamination at its Texas plant. According to Blue Bell, ice cream products at its Oklahoma facility may have been contaminated by equipment and buckets stored in a non-sanitary room. Its plant in Brenham, Texas has not located its contamination source. The Blue Bell plant in Alabama had a surface area that tested positive for listeria.
Listeriosis outbreaks caused by the ice cream occurred in four states. Three deaths from the illness occurred in Kansas in people who were already hospitalized for other illnesses. Blue Bell is implementing improved testing procedures for equipment and surface areas, as well as for ice cream products. It is also instituting a company-wide clothing policy, and will provide workers with coverings they must wear in production areas.
Blue Bell pulled all of its products from the market after the outbreak. Blue Bell says that once the company, the FDA and state regulators agree, it will reintroduce its products with a phased-in selection of flavors and sizes. It will only expand after its programs have shown that they can ensure product safety. Blue Bell has had to lay off a third of its workforce. No definitive date was given as to when the products may be back in stores.
Companies have a responsibility to their customers to manufacture products that are safe. When they fail to do so, they can be held legally responsible. If you or a loved one has been harmed by an unsafe consumer product, you should speak with an attorney to learn more about your options. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. You can also visit us on YouTube.