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Laid-Off Blue Bell Workers Describe Unsanitary Conditions

Laid-Off Blue Bell Workers Describe Unsanitary Conditions

October 13, 2015 — A growing number of laid-off employees have come forward to report unsanitary conditions at Blue Bell ice cream facilities.

CBS News has aired interviews with two employees who described sanitation hazards that were ignored by supervisors.

Blue Bell recalled all of their ice cream in April after several products from multiple facilities tested positive for Listeria. The flagship plant in Brenham, Texas remains closed.

One employee of the Brenham facility, Terry Schultz, worked for Blue Bell for seven months. During that time, he said he would often arrive at work to find ice cream pooled on the floor due to malfunctioning machines.

Another employee, Gerald Bland, was a 5-year employee who operated a fruit feeder. He said the plant would flood after heavy rains and he observed oil from machines and condensate dripping directly into ice cream.

Some of those findings are backed up by inspection reports released by the FDA in May. In September, the Houston Chronicle interviewed 14 former employees of Blue Bell’s plant in Brenham who described a company sacrificing sanitation and safety to keep up with demand:

“Cleanup workers regularly ran out of hot water, making machinery susceptible to pathogens and allergens. Reused packaging brought grime into the factory. Equipment went without safeguards for years.”

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