The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially concluded its investigation of Blue Bell Creameries’ listeria outbreak, which resulted in three deaths and forced the company to recall its full line of products earlier this year.
“This process has led Blue Bell to reassess everything about its operations and identify a number of enhancements that will be made, including updated environmental and product testing procedures,” the company announced.
Going forward, Blue Bell has entered “voluntary agreements” with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry “outlining a series of steps and actions Blue Bell will take as part of its efforts to bring Blue Bell Ice Cream products back to market,” the company announced in a press release.
“The actions include rigorous facility cleaning and sanitizing, revised testing protocols, revised production policies and procedures designed to prevent future contamination, and upgraded employee training initiatives. Once the company is ready to resume production, the voluntary agreements also call for a trial production period before ice cream is distributed to consumers.”
In a statement, Blue Bell CEO Paul Kruse promised to continue working with the USDA to strengthen the company’s pathogen-testing process and responses to potential threats.
“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,” said Kruse.