After several people died, and many more sickened, Blue Bell ice cream has issued a massive recall of all its products due to listeria contamination. Now, it has been found that Blue Bell’s listeria issue started as far back as 2013 in its Oklahoma plant.
According to the FDA, there have been 16 positive tests of listeria at the Oklahoma plant from March 2013-January 2015. Likewise, although the bacteria were found in 2013, the ice cream giant continued to package and sell their product.The test did state that it was positive for listeria on the floors and pallets used to store and carry the ice cream, and not on the product itself.
This growing listeria concern in their ice cream has also prompted other investigations where the bacteria may have originated. In their Alabama location, it was observed that two employees were wearing soiled uniforms while handling food. In addition at a Texas location, investigators saw condensation dripping into food containers. Since, the company has recalled 8 million gallons of ice cream from all entities due to the listeria contamination. Although the exact strain of the listeria origination is unknown, it is the same strain that has lurked in the factories over the last five years.
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