Blue Bell Creameries recently shut down production plants in Texas and other locations due to possible Listeria contamination affecting its equipment and products. The shutdown followed the company’s announcement of a massive recall of its ice cream products after testing positive for the food-borne bacteria.
The Blue Bell contamination is believed to have claimed at least three lives and 7 other confirmed cases of listeriosis. Many consumers have also initiated personal injury claims in Texas where one of the Blue Bell production plants has been shut down.
Results of FDA Investigation
Government investigation reports indicate that Blue Bell’s Oklahoma plant already had evidence of Listeria bacteria in March 2013. Despite the findings of contamination, Blue Bell continued to ship ice cream that was manufactured in the affected plant after “inadequate cleaning,” according to the FDA. Investigation continued with the other plants but the Oklahoma plant exhibited the major violations as equipment and ice cream products tested positive for listeria in 16 separate tests from March 2013 to 2015.
In Texas and all the other contaminated plants, investigators noted:
- Incorrect hand-washing practices
- Unsanitary food-handling plant conditions
- Condensation dripping into food and on surfaces that came into contact with food products
- Soiled outer garments of food-handling employees
- Failure to perform food surfaces testing for the presence of pathogens
- Dirty equipment and plant infrastructure promoting difficulty in cleaning
The company is currently conducting a comprehensive cleanup of the affected ice cream plants, focusing on sanitation and updating of its production facilities. In the meantime, Blue Bell has recalled all of its products and the public has been warned against its consumption.
What Is Listeria?
Listeria is a type of deadly bacteria that causes listeriosis, a disease characterized by:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Muscle aches
Symptoms of listeriosis may appear days after consuming the affected food but in some cases, the symptoms may appear after a few weeks.
If you have experienced symptoms of listeria after having Blue Bell ice cream in Houston, Texas, you may have a personal injury case against the ice cream manufacturer. Consult a Houston personal injury lawyer immediately to determine whether you have a cause of action and what your legal options are.
In Houston, Texas, personal injury attorney Charles J. Argento has years of experience in product liability cases, helping clients obtain damages that they legally deserve.
Call our offices today at (713) 225-5050 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our lawyers, paralegal and secretarial staffs also speak Spanish.