U.S. Department of Justice: Investigation at Blue Bell Creameries for Listeria Contamination Begins

U.S. Department of Justice: Investigation at Blue Bell Creameries for Listeria Contamination Begins

New Year ’s Eve is the time when a woman wants to be kissed by the lover of her life, and the men want to be there to solidify their relationship with their woman. It is the time when everyone unites together and welcomes the New Year by dining together and eating Ice creams. But, how bad it would be for an ice cream company that has to face criminal investigation on being charged for contamination during the festive season? Similar case happened with Blue Bell Creameries which is facing criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for its handling of the ice cream contamination linked to 10 reported cases of listeriosis. The contamination resulted in several illness cases and three deaths.

According to sources, the US Department of Justice has commenced a criminal probe into the listeria contamination episode of Blue Bell Creameries LP. In April 2015, the Texas-based company issued a recall of all its ice creams, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen treats sold in 23 states following the report of listeria contamination that had infected all the three plants of the company. After complete satisfaction and receiving approval from the regulators, the company again started selling its ice creams in August. James Neale, a Virginia attorney who fights food borne-illness cases for companies, said there is no use of investigating the issue by the Justice right now.

Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, said the existence of same strain of listeria infection for the past five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time. Listeriosis seems to be dangerous because, unlike many other germs, it can grow in the cold temperature of a refrigerator or a food processing plant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women, newborns and those with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of the infection. According to estimation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 48 million people, one out of six Americans, suffer from food-borne illnesses every year. More than 128,000 people are hospitalized and about 3,000 die from infections the federal government says are largely preventable.

In a statement provided to Everythinglubbock, the origin of the strain was then unknown, but "the fact that it was the same strain over the last five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time," Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, told CNN last April.

Listeriosis is a potentially fatal infection caused by the germ listeria, which is found in soil, water and some animals such as poultry and cattle, including raw milk. It's especially dangerous because, unlike many other germs, it can grow in the cold temperature of a refrigerator or a food processing plant.

CNN report said, after weeks of gradual recalls, Blue Bell recalled all its ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen treats sold in 23 states on April, 20, 2015, after it said listeria was found on the lid of a food service cup the month before. However, an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the listeria outbreak dated back to 2010. The agency connected patients from 2010-2015 to the current outbreak through comparisons to a database of bacteria DNA.

The origin of the strain was then unknown, but "the fact that it was the same strain over the last five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time," Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, told CNN last April.

In a statement provided to GilmerMirror, as I looked back over the years, I realized how Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream has always been there for me. Through thick and thin, it’s always come through. Through anxiety, doubt, regret, excitement, celebration or relaxation, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream has nurtured me, made me feel better, and comforted me.

Sure, there are other desserts which catch my eye. Mrs. Edward’s key lime pie. Honey buns. German Chocolate cake. Carrot Cake cupcakes. Even other ice creams. I’ve had another brand’s Drumstick ice cream on occasion and truly enjoyed it. But those dalliances only underscored my true devotion to Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. While the other desserts were all were delicious, I’ve always returned to Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. It is hard to believe anything can taste so good, can be so true, month in and month out.

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