Officials finalize penalty agreement with Blue Bell over Listeria outbreak

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Saturday, July 30, 2016
Blue Bell Creameries.

The state of Texas has finalized its penalty agreement with Blue Bell Creameries following last year's Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.

The penalty amount for Blue Bell is $850,000. Of that amount, $175,000 must be paid within 30 days. According to officials, the penalty was issued against the company "because it allowed adulterated product to enter the market place and cause illness."

Officials say the remaining balance will not have to be paid if Blue Bell follows the terms in the agreement for 18 months.

In a statement, officials say Blue Bell must notify the Department of State Health Services of any presumptive positive test results for Listeria.

"Blue Bell must continue to notify DSHS of any presumptive positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes in ice cream, ingredients, food surfaces, machinery and other equipment in its Brenham plant. The company must maintain its "test and hold" procedures for all finished product, meaning ice cream must be found to be free of pathogens before it can be sold to the public. As a licensed frozen dessert manufacturer, the company also must continue to provide state inspectors with full access to the plant to take samples."

The company will continue to test and monitor its ice cream.