Blue Bell Expands Recall to All Products

Texas iconic ice cream maker Blue Bell has recalled all of its products after discovering Listeria in yet another product.  The Brenham-based company had already recalled all products from its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma plant, but now is stripping the shelves of all of its products.  The Dallas Morning News reports that the recall sent grocers scrambling to remove the delicious treats before customers could purchase more.  The recall raises questions about what could have been done to prevent the outbreak.

Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston said Blue Bell notified the grocer about the recall shortly before 5 p.m. Monday.

“We’ve pulled everything, and now we wait for Blue Bell to tell us what to do with it,” he said. The grocer is calling all its customers who purchased Blue Bell products, asking them to bring the items back to the store for a refund.

The company faces the prospect of trying to get its production on track by Memorial Day, when the peak season for ice cream sales begins. “They say they’re making this right, before then,” Huddleston said.

Food safety attorney Bill Marler said he was “not particularly surprised” by the announcement.

Once tests show Listeria is in a finished product it is likely it is in the manufacturing facility, which is tough to combat, he said.

“Now that it’s expanded, it shows that Listeria is endemic in their plants,” he said.

“What is sad about the Blue Bell situation, had it had more thorough testing of product and more thorough cleaning of its plant and equipment beforehand, an outbreak could have been avoided. The devastation to Blue Bell’s customers and its reputation could have been avoided,” he said.

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