Blue Bell’s Listeria Problem May Go Back Longer Than We Think

It’s a complicated bacteria.

By Rhonda FanningApril 23, 2015 9:36 am

In 2013, Colorado had the deadliest listeria outbreak in our country’s history – it ended up killing around 30 people. It started with a cantaloupe – which was linked to a group in South Carolina performing tests on dairy products, including Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Now, the Texas based and family-owned company is facing strict oversight from the Centers of Disease Control, which has had their eye on the company as far back as 2010.

There have been ten cases in five years, spanning across four states – which usually means that there’s an issue with cleanliness and machinery. Most of the material inspections that the CDC conducted over the years found that all of the health code violations were relatively minor.

Mark Collette is an investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle. He joins the Texas Standard to talk about why listeria is such a complex problem.