May 25, 2015

2009 Inspection Report Shows Pipes Dripping into Blue Bell Ice Cream

Blue Bell Ice Cream Cups Listeria Recall

Blue Bell Creameries had food safety violations at its production facilities dating back to 2009, according to documents released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Dallas Morning News. Blue Bell products made at its Brenham, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma facilities have been linked to a Listeria outbreak that has killed three people and sickened several others. Dairy products are the leading cause of Listeria outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One reason, is that manufacturing conditions are ideal for the bacteria's growth. Listeria thrives in cool places and in areas where moisture collects. When FDA officials inspected the Brenham, Texas plant in July 2009, they … [Read more...]

Listeria Outbreak Forces Blue Bell Lay Offs, Furloughs

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A temporary closure prompted by a deadly Listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream has forced layoffs and furloughs affecting more that 70 percent of the company's employees. Blue Bell Creameries CEO and President Paul Kruse described the cuts, salary reductions and other cost-cutting measures as an  “ agonizing decision” that he put off as long as possible. In March, it was discovered that Listeria in the company's ice cream has been responsible for 10 illnesses and three deaths since 2010. After  Listeria was found in Blue Bell products made at two of the companies three facilities, production was halted at all three. A nationwide recall was issued for all of the company's products. Health officials are still looking through records to see if other illnesses were caused by the … [Read more...]

FDA: Blue Bell Knew About Listeria in 2013

Blue Bell Ice Cream Cups Listeria Recall

The FDA has released its inspection reports on Blue Bell's three ice cream facilities revealing food safety violations at all of them and the presence of Listeria in one of them as far back as 2013.  Blue Bell ice cream has been linked to a Listeria outbreak that has sickened at least 10 people in four states, three of whom have died. The company has recalled all of its products. Consumers who have Blue Bell ice cream in their freezers should not eat it as they risk serious illness, if they do. Blue Bell's three production facilities,  in Brehnam, Texas; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and Sylacauga, Alabama, all had multiple food safety violations. At the Broken Arrow facility where operations have been suspended  since April 3,  Listeria was found repeatedly during inspections as far back … [Read more...]

Wa-Nee IN Schools Served Apple Slices Recalled for Listeria

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Sun-Rich apples slices that are being recalled for Listeria were served to students in Wa-Nee, Indiana school district.  students were served packaged apples at lunch this week that have been recalled by the manufacturer due to possible listeria bacteria contamination. The school district received a recall notice on April 30, after serving the recalled apple slices for school during the week, according to a notice posted on the school district's website by Superintendent Joe Sabo. In the notice, Sabo tells parents to watch their children for symptoms of a a Listeria infection which include high fever, stiff neck, muscle stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The school district has alerted the local health department. Sun Rich has recalled apple slices in 10 states for … [Read more...]

Not All Blue Bell Listeria Cases Occurred in Hospitals

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Most of those sickened in the Blue Bell Listeria outbreak were served contaminated ice cream while they were hospitalized for other health issues. But not all of them. A new CDC graphic shows where the illnesses occurred and where the tainted ice cream was made.  Five people were sickened while they were being treated at a Kansas hospital and three illnesses occurred in patients at three different Texas hospitals. But the Arizona and Oklahoma cases do not appear to have been exposed at hospitals. Health officials say more cases could be added to the outbreak which has sickened 10 people in four states, killing three of them. Blue Bell has recalled all of its products currently on the market. Consumers who have Blue Bell ice cream in their freezers should not eat it as it may be … [Read more...]

Today’s Harvest Vegetables Recalled for Listeria

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Today’s Harvest Field Peas with Snaps, Silver Queen Corn, and Broccoli Florets are being recalled for Listeria. The recalled frozen vegetables with the sell by date 04/21/16, were sold at Publix Supermarkets in Florida. Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it as Listeria can cause serious illness and death. At the time of the recall no illnesses had been associated with the product. The recalled product was sold in  32 ounce clear plastic bags  in the freezer section of Publix stores. The sell by date of 04/21/16 is printed along the bottom seal of the bag in black ink. Young children, seniors, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems are at elevated risk for Listeria infection.  Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. … [Read more...]

Listeria Recall Prompts Closure of Spanish Sonrise Dairy in Yacolt, WA

A raw cream Listeria recall has prompted the closure of Spanish Sonrise Dairy in Yacolt, WA, The Columbian has reported. No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall, but the owners say it has prompted them to close the dairy ahead of schedule. During routine testing by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Listeria was found in raw cream. All raw cow milk, goat milk and cream with expiration dates between April 16 and 21 is being recalled. Listeria can cause serious illness and death. Symptoms, which can take up to 70 days to develop, include fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle stiffness, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Those most at risk are pregnant women, seniors, children and those with compromised immune system. Among pregnant women, Listeria can … [Read more...]

Preventing Listeriosis During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are at elevated risk for listerioisis, one of the deadliest kinds of food poisoning, and the complications can be tragic. Among pregnant women, Listeria infections can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and in newborns, infection or death. Symptoms, which can take as long as 70 days after exposure to develop, include fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea and upset stomach. Most pregnant women are 10 times more likely than the general population to contract listeriosis. For pregnant women who are Hispanic, the risk is 24 times higher. Some of that increased risk is attributed to food choices like Mexican-style soft cheeses. For all women, avoiding certain foods during pregnancy is the best way to reduce the risk of listeriosis. According to the Centers … [Read more...]

PritzkerOlsen Retained in Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak

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PritzkerOlsen, a national food safety law firm, has been retained in the Blue Bell Listeria outbreak which has sickened at least eight people in two states, killing three of them. "Because Listeria is one of the deadliest foodborne bacteria, producers should have a heightened level of vigilance to keep it out of America’s food supply," said Listeria lawyer Elliot Olsen, who is representing a client in this outbreak. About 20 percent of Listeria cases are fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost 60 percent of Listeria infections occur in adults 65 and older, about 14 percent of cases occur in pregnant women among whom these infections can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and illness and death of newborns. Others at elevated risk of … [Read more...]

Listeria Lawyer: Blue Bell Shows Need for Better Ice Cream Testing

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The Blue Bell Listeria outbreak has highlighted the need for improved testing at facilities that make frozen dairy products, according to Brendan Flaherty, a food safety attorney with PritzkerOlsen in Minneapolis. Over the last four years, Listeria in ice cream products made at Blue Bell facilities in two states has sickened at least eight people, killing three of them. “These products have been making people sick, not for months, but for years. This is not a one-time problem but a systemic problem," said Flaherty who is representing clients from Minnesota and New Mexico in the caramel apple Listeria outbreak. How did Blue Bell's Listeria problem go on for years without detection? Part of the problem is that Blue Bell's plants weren't regularly tested by state and federal health … [Read more...]

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