April 10, 2015 — Inspections of Blue Bell Creamery’s ice cream plant in Oklahoma found “no problems” just days after the products were linked to an outbreak of Listeria.
The first recall was issued on March 13 after a hospital in Kansas reported several illnesses, including three deaths.
When inspectors from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture inspected the facility on March 18, they found no problems. In a one-page report obtained by the Associated Press, inspectors wrote “No Violations Observed!” and “Keep it up!”
Officials in Oklahoma said they were not aware Listeria had been traced to the plant until March 22, and they had no reason to check for the bacteria because the facility had no history of illnesses and “no problems” were detected.
Blue Bell has stopped production at the facility.
CBS News talked to Lucy Severs, food safety manager for the Washington Department of Agriculture, who said:
“You may just be working to keep your plant really, really clean, but you also need to work to keep it in good repair because that organism can slide into a crack on the door, or get into the crack where the wall and floor meet.”
Until last month, Blue Bell had never issued a recall in its 108-year history. Now, more than 25 products have been recalled and stores like Kroger, Sam’s Club, and H-E-B have pulled them off shelves.
The tainted ice cream has been linked to at least eight illnesses, including five in Kansas and three in Texas. All of the victims were hospital patients, which is concerning because Listeria infections are most serious for people with vulnerable immune systems.
Do I have a Blue Bell Ice Cream Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Listeria induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with Listeria after eating Blue Bell ice cream, 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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