Health inspectors found live crickets, mildew and other food safety violations at Blue Bell’s Brenham Texas plant before the Listeria outbreak, according to records obtained by NBC5. The records show that although there were dozens of violations in the four years since the Listeria problem at the plant has been ongoing, no formal warnings or fines were issued, according to the station’s report. NBC 5 used the Texas open records law to get copies of inspection reports from January 1, 2011 to April 15, 2015.
Blue Bell ice cream made at plants in Texas and Oklahoma has been linked to 10 illnesses and three deaths. Five people were sickened while they were being treated at a Kansas hospital and three illnesses occurred in patients at three different Texas hospitals. One person from Arizona and one person from Oklahoma were also sickened. The cases in this outbreak date back to 2010.
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 contaminated with Listeria.
People at high risk for infection from Listeria include pregnant women, newborns, small children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems. Among pregnant women, Listeria infections can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.