June 15, 2024

FDA Improves Ice Cream Production Safety After Listeria Outbreaks

The FDA announced today that they are taking steps to improve ice cream production after inspecting food facilities and collecting and testing samples from the environment where foods are produced. The notice states, "Following a string of safety issues related to a number of U.S. ice cream distributors, the FDA engaged a team to inspect and obtain environmental samples from 89 ice cream production facilities in 32 states to test for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. The government found that some were in violation of the law." There have been two Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks linked to ice cream in the past few years. Last year, one person was sickened after eating Working Cow Homemade ice cream. And in 2015, the CDC released information about 10 people sickened with … [Read more...]

After Listeria Outbreak, Blue Bell Resumes Ice Cream Production in Brenham, TX

In April 2015, Blue Bell ice cream was linked to a deadly Listeria outbreak that prompted a recall of all of its products and the temporary closure of its production facilities. The plant in Sylacauga, Alabama was the first to come online, restarting production in August. The plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was next, restarting in September. This week, the company's plant in Brenham, Texas began making ice cream for the first time in seven months. During that time, the company has made changes to the facility and to its process, according to a statement on its website. "Operations are currently on a limited basis as the company seeks to confirm that new procedures, facility enhancements and employee training are effective.  Ice cream produced will be closely monitored and tested. There … [Read more...]

Recalled Blue Bell Ice Cream for Sale on Craigslist

According to KEYE-TV in San Antonio, Texas, people are trying to sell recalled Blue Bell ice cream on Craigslist. And that isn't the only case. A Dallas Craigslist ad offers Blue Bell Vanilla flavor, and another ad in Houston offers the recalled product. Blue Bell ice cream and all of its other products were recalled for Listeria monocytogenes last month. The ice cream is linked to a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has killed three people and sickened at least ten. Some offers were made on eBay, but that company does have a policy against selling recalled items. All of those offers have been removed by the company. It is against the law to resell foods that have been recalled for issues such as bacterial contamination. There is one exception: meat. Raw meat that has been … [Read more...]

Law Firm Retained in Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak

A 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 be extremely careful and vigilant to make sure it is kept out of America’s food supply," said Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker, 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 infection are young … [Read more...]

Oklahoma Inspectors Liked Blue Bell Plant Just Before Finding Listeria

Dairy Services inspectors for the state of Oklahoma liked what they saw at the Blue Bell Ice Cream plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, just weeks before the company shut down production there and expanded recalls related to an ice cream Listeria outbreak. "Great job," "Keep it up!" and "No violations observed!" were among the remarks written into the report from a March 18 food safety review at the plant, according to an inspection document obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act. A few days earlier, federal health officials had linked Blue Bell ice cream made in Texas to an outbreak of listeriosis that killed three people in Wichita, Kansas. Then, on March 22, Kansas officials informed Blue Bell that they found Listeria monocytogenes in a Blue Bell 3-ounce … [Read more...]

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

The Blue Bell Listeria outbreak has highlighted the need for improved testing at facilities that make frozen dairy products, according to Fred Pritzker, a food safety attorney with Pritzker Hageman 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. 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 authorities for Listeria, a bacteria known to thrive in cold temperatures. Blue Bell manufactures ice cream in three locations: Brenham, Texas; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and Sylacauga, Alabama.  All three locations were inspected regularly, some … [Read more...]

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