September 21, 2019

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 PritzkerOlsen 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...]

Food Safety Flaws Noted at Blue Bell’s Texas Ice Cream Plant

The Blue Bell ice cream plant associated with the highly publicized Kansas Listeria outbreak exhibited multiple food safety flaws noted by a group of 11 FDA inspectors who visited the facility during the last half of April. According to the report of inspectional observations by the group, the Blue Bell plant continued to manufacture ice cream products for several days after the company's own sampling found Listeria monocytogenes around a drain that was not in direct contact with food. And by then, the Texas Department of State Health Services had notified Blue Bell that Listeria monocytogenes had been found in products from the plant. The company itself confirmed Listeria findings in its Great Divide Bar and Chocolate Chip Country Cookie, the report said. One of the observations made … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Attacking Listeria Problem with Overhaul of Facilities

Major floor repairs and potential work on ventilation systems at Blue Bell ice cream plants will be part of an intensive maintenance overhaul that could take months to complete, the Texas company said in a public statement this week. The effort also will include disassembly of equipment and extensive swabbing of surfaces in search of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that have crept into the company's products for several years. Public health authorities brought the contamination to light in an investigation of three Listeria deaths in Kansas last year traced to milkshakes made from Blue Bell "Scoops'' ice cream. Now they know that a total of 10 people have been sickened in the outbreak in four states. Half of the victims ate ice cream from Texas facilities and half ate ice cream from … [Read more...]

Not All Blue Bell Listeria Cases Occurred in Hospitals

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...]

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