On January 7, 2016, Blue Bell released a statement updating the public on their efforts to improve food safety protocols at their facilities. They reported that they still find Listeria in the facility environment, but no batches have tested positive for the bacteria. As part of their improved protocols, Blue Bell tests every batch of ice cream for foodborne pathogens. Blue Bell also reports that their enhanced procedures are working. The company has pinpointed the locations of Listeria contamination in facilities, and regular cleanings are reducing the amount of Listeria bacteria present.
Ice cream produced by Blue Bell was the source of a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened 10 people. Blue Bell issued a recall for all of their products on April 20, 2015. FDA inspections revealed that Blue Bell facilities violated a number of food safety rules. Samples from the facilities also tested positive for Listeria contamination a number of times prior to the outbreak. Blue Bell was gradually allowed to reopen their facilities, with the last being their Brenham location in November. The Department of Justice recently launched an investigation that seeks to find out how much Blue Bell executives knew about the Listeria contamination before the outbreak.