Few things symbolize Texas more than Blue Bell ice cream. The brand’s ubiquitous half-gallon containers scream “Lone Star State.” For many children, a tour of Blue Bell Creameries’ Norman Rockwell-esque facility in Brenham is a favorite childhood memory. Those memories, that image and, well, the superior taste (in our view) are the reasons people buy the product. But they are not enough to insulate the company from a compliance catastrophe.
In April the company recalled all of its products from shelves, shut down its factories and ceased production of all ice cream products due to a Listeria issue at one of its plants. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has linked Blue Bell’s contaminated ice cream to 10 illnesses, including three deaths in Kansas (some dating back as early as 2011). This summer will be a long, ice cream-less one for many establishments that primarily serve Blue Bell products.
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