In over a century the ice cream company, Blue Bell, has never had a recall. With over a dozen flavors, and millions of satisfied customers, Blue Bell has made high profits on their products, but over the last year or so, their first product recall has gone from a small amount to an entire inventory recall, due to the scare that listeria may be in their products. With new information that the listeria problem has gone on since 2010, is Blue Bell Creameries business in trouble?
With no profits from products, and much money being spent to correct a problem, business can be hard to keep a float. Though Blue Bell Creameries is worth billions of dollars, their new product recall has people steering clear of ice cream. The problem began when three deaths from listeria caused an investigation. According to sources, it was determined that the three people had all been seen in the same hospital in Kansas, in which the mini ice cream cups, scoops, had been served. Blue Bell then recalled all the products that could have possibly come from one machine, that when tested showed signs of listeria.
This initial product recall included eight ice cream products: scoops ice cream, the sour pop green apple bar, the cotton candy bar, the almond bar, the great divide bar, the chocolate chip country cookie, the ‘no sugar added’ mooo bar and vanilla stick slices. This recall worried many buyers but also made many feel like the situation had been contained.
When five more deaths , and several illnesses, took place in other locations like Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma, Blue Bell Creameries could not be certain how far the outbreak, in their ice cream products, had spread. The first outbreak which was believed to have come from a machine in Brenham, Texas, has now also been traced to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. As samples of listeria have tested positive in some of their other products, Blue Bell just issued a total recall from 23 states, and some international retail chains. Could this recall put Blue Bell Creameries business in trouble?
Though people are a bit frightened, Blue Bell has been their choice products for generations. Celebrating birthdays with ice cream, eating ice cream on a hot day, and even sampling the different flavors, has been a past time favorite. If the ice cream company can get the contamination problem under control quickly, they may have nothing to worry about and can go back to business as usual, but continuing to make billions is not easy when people are worried about buying the product.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended, in a statement, that consumers steer clear of eating Blue Bell products, until the situation is contained. The CDC traced the bacterium to the year 2010. As records that were cross-checked may show that people began getting sick in 2010, the CDC believed that the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes could have been somewhere in the factory, without anyone knowing. They drew this conclusion upon finding out that the listeria strain that had caused people to get sick, was the same one in the last five years. Though, a CDC official stated that he believed that it was two different strains between the state Texas and Oklahoma.
Once the CDC can resolve the issue and products can be released on the shelf again, consumers may once again buy lots of Blue Bell ice cream. Until then Blue Bell will be taking a hit, from the lost business, lost products, and safety measures that must be taken. After the billions that the company has made, Blue Bell Creameries may not be in too much trouble, as far as businesses is concerned, but while their products are not on the shelves, their profits will not be rising.
Opinion by Crystal Boulware