Blue Bell Creameries has been long under scrutiny after the major listeria outbreak that led to three deaths in Kansas.
On April 20, 2015 the company had to recall all of its products after the news that they might be contaminated with the dangerous bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. This was done after having sampled their products. The results showed that the half gallons Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream produced on the 17th and the 27th of March 2015 had tested positive for the bacteria.
Ten people were sickened after consuming the products in Kansas, Arizona and Texas. The news came out on April 21st.
The Texas-based company dad to lay off more than a third of its employees after shutting down its manufacturing.
Ever since then, the Food and Drug Administration inspected the company. An alarming number of 26 violations were found. They are now prompting them to outline safety plans that will prevent future outbreaks.
They traced contamination with listeria from 2010 in the ice cream maker company. There have been news stating that the company was aware of such contamination ever since 2013.
This would be the first time the FDA has all food producers come out with a plan to minimize risks in the case an outbreak occurs.
The rule has been on their desk for two years now, but they are on the verge of making it final, as they are trying to get the necessary funding.
The new regulation “would require that companies like Blue Bell have a written food safety plan, based on an analysis of likely hazards, and companies would have to show us that plan during inspections,” a representative of the FDA wrote in a post.
They are basically proposing to make companies come up with food safety plans. This is part of the FDA’s implementation of an act passed by Congress five years ago, called the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Thus, any company producing or commercializing juice, seafood and meat processors will be required to design plans that could help overcome a crisis and relief some of the damage.
According to FDA officials, some companies have already implemented such plans before the rule was proposed.
The rule is due to be made final by the end of August. They have required for a funding of $109.5 million in order to implement the system effectively.
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