Bluebell finds signs of Listeria at factories, not in ice cream
Blue Bell has found “Listeria species” at some of their production facilities but not in their ice cream products.
According to a Blue Bell press release, even after implementing enhanced procedures, Listeria was still found at several locations which were not identified.
The company is working with a team of microbiologists to ensure the Listeria does not make it the ice cream. No batch of ice cream has been found to be contaminated.
Listera is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention classifies it is an important public health problem in the United States that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems.
Blue Bell says Listeria is found in nature and that no manufacturer can entirely eradicate it. The full press release is posted below.
As we complete our final phase of distribution, we wanted to update our loyal customers on what has been going on in our production facilities. We continue to strictly adhere to our enhanced operations, policies, employee training and cleaning procedures to help give regulatory agencies and the public assurance that all aspects of our facilities and operations are resulting in a safe product.
We continually reinforce to our employees that eliminating all potential sources of contamination is our number one priority so that we can stay committed to producing safe and high quality products for customers to enjoy.
Because Listeria is commonly found in the natural environment, no manufacturer can ever assume it can be entirely eradicated. We have worked closely with our expert team of microbiologists to develop an enhanced, robust testing system specifically designed for each facility to identify any possible presence of Listeria in the production environment, including extensive environmental testing and testing every single batch of ice cream we make before it is sold to customers.
We are pleased that our enhanced environmental and product testing procedures are working. We have identified locations where suspected Listeria species may be present in our facility, and we continue to extensively clean and sanitize those areas and make additional enhancements to the facility and our procedures based on the environmental test results. To confirm that our robust environmental program is effective, and that our “seek and destroy” goals are being achieved, we expect to periodically find microbiological indications in our facilities. Since our plants reopened, we have tested and will continue to test every batch of ice cream produced, and no products produced have tested positive for Listeria.
We will continue to work closely with our regulatory agencies, as we have throughout this process, and our number one priority will continue to be making sure our products are safe for our customers to enjoy.