It is embarrassing and deadly: Blue Bell working to get past Listeria contamination scare

Blue Bell Creameries will survive the crisis caused by a recent recall of products prompted by a finding of bacterial contamination in some of its products, but it will take a lot of work and a lot of money, experts said.

blue.bell.creameriesThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this month that three people in Texas had the same strain of listeria bacteria linked to some Blue Bell ice cream products previously found in five others at a Wichita, Kansas, hospital. Three of the five in Kansas died. That prompted the first recall in the family-owned creamery’s 108-year history, and some major retail and customer clients pulled all Blue Bell products from their offerings until they could be assured those products were safe.

Consultant Gene Grabowski, who has been a “crisis guru” to food manufacturers in about 150 recalls, has been advising the Brenham, Texas-based creamery, the Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/1EXjk6R ) reported. Blue Bell, he said, has worked around the clock since the listeria concerns arose to identify and correct any contamination sources.

“This company cares more about the health and well-being of consumers than any company I’ve ever worked for,” he told the newspaper. “This is a company that’ always trying to do the right thing. This has been embarrassing for the family.”