Texas Authorities Fine Blue Bell Up to $850,000 for Listeria Outbreak
State health authorities have one clear message to Blue Bell Creameries and any dairy whose facilities are not sanitary: don't mess with Texas.
According to the industry blog Food Safety News, a consent agreement between Blue Bell and the Texas State Department of Health Services requires payment of $175,000 in fines within 30 days or an additional $675,000, for a grand total fine of $850,000, will be levied if Blue Bell fails to meet food safety standards in the next eighteen months.
Blue Bell's creamery in Brenham was determined to be one of two physical plants where the listeria outbreak was traced. Federal regulators and inspectors in Oklahoma and Alabama are still investigating the outbreak which sickened ten people and resulted in three fatalities.
After all of this, why would the company place in jeopardy it's profitable operation just to make a few more buckets of ice cream? It baffles the brain. When Blue Bell left store shelves, dairy products in general dipped in sales. I'm sure the dairy industry was not pleased by that. Stay on the straight and narrow, we like buying your product!