Back in the first part of this year Blue Bell Creameries, the third biggest ice cream manufacturer in the United States, suffered from an outbreak of Listeria, forcing the dairy company to halt all production and distribution while issuing a voluntary recall on their products. The incident not only cost the company a large sum of money, but it also left many Blue Bell employees without jobs and looking for work.
The CDC was able to link the Blue Bell Creameries products to 10 documented cases of Listeria, three of which resulted in death. After this news, Blue Bell Creameries had no real choice but to halt operations all the way back in April of this year and issue their voluntary recall that saw roughly eight million gallons of ice cream disposed of.
Now, what no one seemed to pay attention to or pick up on is the fact Blue Bell Creameries had already found listeria contamination in a production plant two years prior to this outbreak. That mean they either failed to find a solution to eliminate the harmful bacteria for roughly two years, or they never thought it was a serious concern. The end result is that this bacteria in all honesty has most likely been infecting people since as far back as 2010.
Blue Bell Creameries have resumed operations earlier in August of this year, and are currently servicing select markets across the United States, and I just hope they are safer when dealing with products intended for human consumption. Foodborne illness is nothing to take lightly, so I would hope that other companies will learn from the mistakes that this ice cream maker has made, so history doesn’t repeat itself in the future.
This article is brought to you by Harvill Industries. Harvill Industries is Dallas, Texas’ premiere process design, systems integration, sanitary equipment, and OEM service provider to sanitary industries including food, beverage, dairy, cosmetics, biotech, and pharmaceutical.