October 24, 2021

Blue Bell Restarts Limited Ice Cream Production After Listeria Outbreak

After a deadly Listeria outbreak triggered a shutdown of its ice cream manufacturing facilities, Blue Bell Creameries is restarting production on a limited basis. During a test period, production will resume at the company's plant in Sylacauga, Ala. where changes to the facility, the process and employee training have been put in place. A firm date for the start of ice cream sales has not been set. “We have been working diligently to prepare our facilities to resume test production, and our focus throughout this process has been to ensure the public that when our products return to market, they are safe,” said Greg Bridges, vice president of operations for Blue Bell. “We are very excited about taking these important first steps as part of the process of getting high-quality Blue Bell … [Read more...]

Via Christi Hospital Cases Brought Blue Bell Outbreak to Light

Three months have passed since Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, stopped serving all types of Blue Bell ice cream at the direction of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). The step coincided with a major breakthrough in a festering outbreak of listeriosis that Kansas tied to Blue Bell creameries in Texas and Oklahoma. As first described March 13 in a national Listeria announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five patients at the hospital who arrived there for unrelated problems developed invasive listeriosis and three of them died.  Illness onset dates for the five patients ranged from January 2014 through January 2015 and a national database showed highly related strains of Listeria monocytogenes on file in Listeria … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Listeria Lawsuit Assigned to Judge Lee Yeakel

The nation's first lawsuit filed in the Blue Bell ice cream Listeria outbreak has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin, Texas. The case centers on the near-fatal illness in Houston suffered by the associate executive director of a 462-apartment continuing care retirement community who regularly ate the type of Blue Bell ice cream that state and federal authorities have linked to the outbreak. D. Philip Shockley, 32, sued Blue Bell Creameries USA Inc. on May 19. The ice cream lawsuit alleges that Shockley's devastating listeriosis infection was caused by tainted products that Blue Bell made in facilities infested with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Judge Yeakel was appointed to the federal bench in 2003 by President George W. Bush after confirmation by … [Read more...]

Rules Set for Alabama Ice Cream Plant after Listeria Recall

Alabama and Blue Bell Creameries have reached an agreement on rules that will surround the reopening of the company's ice cream plant in the state. Operations in Sylacauga, Alabama, were interupted April 20 when the company recalled all of its products while investigators tried to pinpoint the causes linking Blue Bell ice cream with a long-lasting outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. Three people died in Kansas and seven other illnesses in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona have been confirmed as tied to Listeria bacteria in Blue Bell ice cream. The onset of illnesses ranges from 2010 to January 2015. According to terms of the latest deal, Alabama will go along with most of the same rules already determined for the upcoming reopening of Blue Bell ice cream manufacturing … [Read more...]

Listeria Patient Who Sued Blue Bell Barely Escaped Death

The former Texas resident who is the first person to sue Blue Bell ice cream in connection with a deadly Listeria outbreak endured well over a year of intensive neurological treatment, therapy and rehabilitation, according to the formal complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas. The plaintiff, 32-year-old D. Philip Shockley, fell ill in October 2013 and continues to suffer from posterior fossa syndrome (PFS), a severe neurological syndrome caused by damage to the brainstem and cerebellum, the complaint said. The Listeria Blue Bell lawsuit, filed May 19 on Shockley's behalf, states that Listeria monocytogenes in Blue Bell ice cream infected the victim's blood and migrated to his brain, where it caused extensive damage, leaving him unconscious and near death inside his … [Read more...]

Why It Was Important for Texas Listeria Patient to Sue Blue Bell

D. Philip Shockley was in such pain and physical distress that he collapsed inside his Houston area apartment, where he was later found unconscious by a co-worker who was concerned about his unexplained absence from work. The 32-year-old retirement center director had gone to the emergency room for care, but had been sent home with symptoms the doctors believed were due to a migraine headache. Instead, Mr. Shockley was suffering from Listeria meningitis with encephalitis and he remained unconscious for six days. He awoke in the intensive care unit of a local hospital, unable to walk, talk, swallow, see properly or move much of his body. Now living with permanent neurological damage and other threats to his health, Mr. Shockley's federal Listeria lawsuit against the maker of Blue Bell ice … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Lawsuit Refers to Via Christi Hospital Outbreak

The nation's first Blue Bell ice cream Listeria lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas includes details of similarity between a retirement home director in Houston who nearly died of Listeria meningitis and a cluster of five people in Wichita who were striken by listeriosis after eating Blue Bell ice cream while at Via Christi Hospital. All six individuals ate single-serve ice cream products purchased from Blue Bell Creameries Inc. through institutional, or food service, channels. According to a copy of the lawsuit filed by Pritzker Hageman attorneys on behalf of David Philip Shockley, he repeatedly ate single-serve Blue Bell ice cream products while on the job at a 462-apartment continuing care retirement community in Houston. The 31-year-old man with a masters degree in public … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Listeria Agreements Require Ice Cream ‘Test and Hold’

Listeria patients who were treated at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita as part of the Blue Bell ice cream outbreak, and hospital officials themselves, may be interested to hear that Blue Bell will be prohibited from distributing future products until sampling tests indicate that the ice cream is safe. The so-called "test-and-hold'' method is mandated under an agreement between Blue Bell's CEO Paul Kruse and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Listeria agreement lays out conditions under which Blue Bell's ice cream facilities in Brenham will be allowed to resume production after a massive ice cream Listeria recall and shutdown of commercial manufacturing. A separate but similar agreement will apply the same standard to Blue Bell's plant in Broken Arrow, … [Read more...]

FDA Report on Blue Bell Broken Arrow, OK Ice Cream Plant

The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream has sickened 10 people and killed three of those patients. The FDA has issued a report on each of Blue Bell's facilities after extensive inspections and investigations. We told you about the Brenham, Texas facility inspection report last week. Now here are details on the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma facility. The initial recall of Blue Bell ice cream was for product made at the Brenham facility. But officials in Kansas conducted an investigation at the Via Christi hospital kitchen after a Listeria outbreak there earlier this year. An unopened single serving cup of Blue Bell ice cream taken from the hospital kitchen contained the pathogenic bacteria. That ice cream was made in the Broken Arrow plant. The inspection report … [Read more...]

FDA Inspection Report of Blue Bell Brenham, Texas Plant

The FDA has released three inspection reports of the Blue Bell ice cream facilities: one in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, one in Brenham, Texas, and the third in Sylacauga, Alabama. We thought it would be a good idea to cover each inspection report, since they highlight problems at the company that may have led to the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has sickened ten people and killed three. The problem was first discovered at the plant in Texas. The inspections on the Brenham, Texas plant were conducted on March 16, 2015 through May 1, 2015, according to the FDA Form 483, which is published after inspections. The inspection discovered multiple problems discovered long before the recalls started . The Great Divide Bar manufactured on 1/12/15, and Chocolate Chip Country Cookie, … [Read more...]

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