Blue Bell Ice Cream Finds Major Cause of Massive Listeria Outbreak

Blue Bell ice cream has tracked a prime source of the listeria outbreak to a floor drain in a storage room at its Oklahoma plant

Now we know why Blue Bell was pulled off the shelves for so long.

Three deaths, multiple hospitalizations, and one year later, Blue Bell ice cream has finally discovered a major cause of the listeria hysteria that swept shelves last spring.

Last April, Blue Bell recalled all of its ice cream and shut down production for four months.

The artisan ice cream company has tied the listeria outbreak to a floor drain that spread the bacteria to ice cream manufacturing equipment at the company’s plant in Oklahoma. The bacteria was then likely transferred to its main plant in Brenham, Texas, and later came in contact with the ice cream products.

“We identified and implemented specific corrective actions to address the likely source, and adopted comprehensive facility-wide programs to enhance our overall ability to confront any possible sources of contamination,” Blue Bell spokesman Joe Robertson said Sunday in a statement.


Blue Bell has admitted to the FDA that it has not identified all of the sources of the listeria outbreak and will continue to investigate even as new health and safety measures are put into place.