Blue Bell admits listeria found at Brenham plant
Blue Bell admits the bacteria responsible for shutting down its plants last year is still in its home plant in Brenham in Central Texas.
The company said listeria was found, but not in the areas where ice cream is produced.
It said it is working to rid the facility of the contamination and has new procedures in place to make sure the food production lines are not touched by the bacteria that was linked to illness and some deaths.
Blue Bell shut down all three production facilities in Texas, Alabama and Oklahoma in April and all ice cream was recalled after its treats were linked to 10 listeria cases, including three deaths in Kansas. Listeria bacteria can cause serious illness, especially in older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.
The company upgraded its facilities, put safer new procedures in place and retrained employees before returning to store shelves in Texas and across the south in the fall.
Still, the Department of Justice is investigating the outbreak, alleging the comping knew as early as 2013 that at least one plant was contaminated.