Blue Bell to now inform states of positive listeria tests

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HOUSTON (AP) — Blue Bell Creameries has signed agreements with health officials in Texas and Oklahoma requiring the company to inform the states whenever there is a positive test result for listeria in its products or ingredients.

The requirement comes after the company based in Brenham, Texas, failed to tell federal or state health officials of repeated findings of listeria at its Oklahoma plant that date back to 2013.

Blue Bell says the agreements, signed on Thursday, include a provision for instituting "test and hold" procedures for all finished products before they are shipped out.

The company says it's working on a similar agreement with health officials in Alabama, where it also has a plant.

Blue Bell recalled all of its products after a series of listeria illnesses linked to its ice cream.