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Blue Bell Creameries L.P. has agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of distributing adulterated ice cream products.
Five years after a deadly listeria outbreak made national
news, Blue Bell Creameries L.P. has agreed to plead guilty to charges that it shipped contaminated products
to 23 states, including Texas, according to federal prosecutors
The Brenham-based company also will pay $19.35 million in fines, forfeitures and settlements related the case – the second largest-ever amount paid in resolution of a food-safety matter, authorities said.
What's more, the Justice Department has charged its former CEO, Paul Kruse, was seven felony accounts to cover up what became a deadly outbreak of listeria
in some of the company’s products in 2015.
“American consumers rely on food manufacturers to take necessary steps to provide products that are safe to eat,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said in a written statement. “The Department of Justice will take appropriate action where food manufacturers ignore poor factory conditions or fail to abide by required recall procedures when problems are discovered.”
Three deaths and 10 hospitalizations across four states were tied to the 2015 outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported
In a press statement, Blue Bell apologized for the way it handled the outbreak and said it had improved its food safety procedures and oversight.
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