National Consumers League

Blue Bell listeria recall too little, too late

April 22, 2015

Contact: NCL Communications, Carol McKay (412) 945-3242, carolm@nclnet.org

Washington DC— As of Monday, Blue Bell Creameries, a Texas based ice cream company, issued a voluntary recall of all of its products presently in stores, originating from any of its processing facilities. Blue Bell slowly expanded the recall when original clean up efforts to rid its production facilities of Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in vulnerable populations, were ineffective. Last month, Blue Bell issued its first recall, which covered ten varieties of its frozen desserts. On Monday, two tubs of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, prompting the widespread voluntary recall. So far, three deaths and several illnesses have been linked to the outbreak. 

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League:

“This is a sad outcome. Vulnerable hospital patients fell victim to this terrible listeria pathogen, which demonstrates the extreme importance of having stringent food safety standards in the United States. Consumers assume their food is safe. We applaud Blue Bell’s willingness to conduct a voluntary recall of products, however, we are disappointed by how long it took for the company and the federal government to address the situation.  It’s up to retailers and producers to do the right thing when a problem arises.”

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.