Blue Bell has once again recalled its ice cream products over listeria concerns. The latest recall stems from cookie dough that may potentially contain listeria. The company released a statement on Sept. 20 saying that it has not yet received any reports of illness. ol
Third-party supplier Aspen Hills, which provide the cookie dough in question, has also issued a voluntary recall. A report says that Blue Bell found out about the potential contamination through its own testing and then alerted Aspen Hills to the problem.
The two Blue Bell flavors being recalled are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookie Two Step, which were distributed in 10 states throughout the southern U.S.
Blue Bell faced public scrutiny in April 2015, when it recalled its products after three people died, thought to be because of listeria-contaminated Blue Bell ice cream.
The State of Texas later fined the company $850,000 “because it allowed adulterated product to enter the market place and cause illness” — however, only $175,000 needed to be paid within the first 30 days, and then Blue Bell would be off the hook for the balance if the it could follow the terms outlined in the agreement for 18 months. Terms of this agreement include such stipulations as: retaining an independent sanitation and/or microbiology expert; notifying the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) as soon as contamination issues are detected; and providing DSHS full access to the Brenham facilities for purposes of collecting ingredient, finished product, or environmental samples. (A link to the full agreement can be found here.)
An FDA report in May 2015 revealed that Blue Bell was aware of its contamination issues dating back to 2013, but did nothing about it.
The Department of Justice launched an investigation against Blue Bell company in 2015.