Blue Bell, State Agencies Reach Agreement To Get Safe Ice Cream Back On Shelves

Thursday, May 14th 2015, 5:40 pm
By: News On 6

Blue Bell says it has reached an agreement with Oklahoma and Texas agencies about what it needs to do to get its ice cream back on store shelves.

It outlines what Blue Bell will do to assure customers that its products are safe, like cleaning processes, how it will perform tests and new procedures to prevent future contamination.

The agreement also says once the company starts making ice cream again it will have a trial period before it starts distributing it customers.

According to a Blue Bell spokesperson, the agreements signed on Thursday include provisions specific to addressing Listeria, including:
  • Conducting root cause analyses to identify its potential or actual sources;
  • Retaining an independent microbiology expert to establish and review controls to prevent the future introduction of Listeria;
  • Notifying the Texas and Oklahoma state agencies promptly of any presumptive positive test result for Listeria monocytogenes found in ingredients or finished product samples, and providing the state agencies full access to all testing;
  • Ensuring that the company's Pathogen Monitoring Program (PMP) for Listeria in the plant environment outlines how the company will respond to presumptive positive tests for Listeria species; and,
  • Instituting a "test and hold" program to assure that products are safe before they are shipped or sold.

"These detailed agreements will help guide us back to producing the safe, high-quality products that Blue Bell is known for," CEO Paul Kruse said. "We appreciate the tremendous public support we have received, and we look forward to working with our regulatory agencies and returning to making ice cream as soon as possible."