Blue Bell closes Brenham plant for cleaning and training

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Blue Bell Listeriosis Response_115730

A woman walks by the Blue Bell Creameries on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Brenham, Texas. A massive recall has brought more attention and put more pressure on a century-old Texas ice cream company that has been searching to discover how its products became linked to a deadly string of listeria cases. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle […]

BRENHAM, Texas (KXAN) — Blue Bell is temporarily closing its Brenham plant for intensive cleaning after several products were found to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause death. On Monday, the company recalled all of their products currently on the market.

All of the company’s employees, at four production facilities in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas, will also go through a new training program.

“We intend to make a fresh start and that begins with intensive cleaning and enhanced training,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “This is a paradigm shifting event at Blue Bell and we want to put in place new systems to drive continuous improvement.”

Ice cream produced this week at the plant will used for testing and gathering data and will not be sold to the public, the company added.

Training and future improvements at Blue Bell include:

  • Highly aggressive cleaning techniques
  • Increased actions focused on sanitation and cleanliness
  • Strengthening of standard operating procedures
  • Enhancements to its preventative maintenance program
  • Equipment design changes

The company had already suspended operations at its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, plant in early April after Listeria was found there.

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