Blue Bell is having a no good, horrible, very bad year.
Three deaths have been linked to Listeriosis — a life-threatening illness linked to contamination from bacteria found in three of its facilities. The company recalled all of its products. And in May, it fired 1,450 employees.
In a Wednesday press release, the company announced that it must "reassess everything" about its operations and identify enhancements, including environmental and product testing procedures.
“We hope our efforts demonstrate the seriousness with which we are taking this situation, as well as our commitment to making sure we get this right,” Blue Bell President and CEO Paul Kruse says in a press release. “We are committed to seeing this plan through and to working with the FDA each step of the way."
The FDA has provided the company with a detailed list of corrective actions that it says are being carried out in response the FDA's inspections of three plants in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama.
Blue Bell says it is comprehensively reviewing all aspects of operations in the facilities. Since the bacteria, listeria, is everywhere in the environment at the plants, Blue Bell says it has adopted a "broadly focused remediation plan aimed at confronting any possible sources of contamination."
"Once Blue Bell, the FDA and the applicable state regulators agree we are ready to reintroduce products into commerce, we plan to resume production with a phased-in selection of flavors and sizes, expanding only after our revised programs have demonstrated they are capable of ensuring product safety,” Kruse says in a press release.