June 2, 2015 — Inspectors with the Alabama health department had evidence of unsanitary conditions at a Blue Bell ice cream facility in Sycaugua as early as 2011, according to new documents released to the Austin-American Statesman.
On at least six visits by the Alabama Department of Public Health, inspection reports show that the facility in Alabama had similar problems as those found at facilities in Texas and Oklahoma.
Some of those problems included:
“…plant construction issues that contributed to leaky condensate that could contaminate food, failure to conduct necessary testing, concerns over suitable outer garments worn by employees and hygiene issues, such as a worker seen not washing his hands while handling product.”
The facilities are still shut down. Yesterday, Blue Bell made an agreement with Alabama health officials to resume operations once they clean up their act and implement procedures to reduce the risk of future outbreaks.
The report adds further evidence that Blue Bell knew or should have known about potential food safety risks for years. The outbreak of Listeria has been ongoing since 2010, according to the FDA. The company also had at least 17 positive Listeria tests at their facility in Oklahoma dating back to March 2013, but did not issue any recalls until earlier this year.
Finding Listeria in a food-processing facility is extremely serious. The bacteria is difficult to eradicate because it grows under refrigeration temperatures. Although infections are much rarer than Salmonella, they tend to become much more serious — especially for young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with vulnerable immune systems.
Do I have a Blue Bell Ice Cream Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting ice cream induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with Listeria, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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