As Blue Bell
products begin returning to stores after a deadly listeria outbreak last spring, the company is saying its new safety and testing measures are
Listeria was suspected but not confirmed at one of Blue Bell’s Alabama facilities, and the company has said it is working “to extensively clean and
sanitize those areas.”
None of its products have tested positive for the bacteria. In fact, the company had to clarify its initial statement, which led some news outlets to
report that listeria was, in fact, found.
The company issued the following statement late last week as a clarification:
In our facilities, we have identified suspected areas where bacteria may be present but in no case have we confirmed Listeria monocytogenes. The entire purpose of our enhanced environmental testing is to identify locations where bacteria could be found in our
facility in order to properly clean and sanitize the surface and prevent contamination.
More from AL.com:
According to an agreement last year
with the Alabama Department of Public Health, state officials will have full access to all testing of Blue Bell products, and will be notified if any test
results show Listeria in ingredients or test samples.
The state also will be notified of how the company expects to respond to any positive test results, and regular product testing will take place before
anything is shipped or sold. Blue Bell signed similar agreements in Texas and Oklahoma, the other states where it has production plants.
It’s clear that Blue Bell is being hyper vigilant about testing its facilities and communicating the results. It isn’t clear whether this will help regain
the public’s trust.
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