Blue Bell is under investigation by the DOJ over its response to a listeria outbreak

Blue Bell Creameries

Blue Bell Creameries is being investigated by the US Department of Justice for how it handled an ice cream contamination that has been linked to 10 reported cases of listeriosis. Three people linked to the outbreak have died.

Prosecutors are examining whether company executives committed wrongdoing in their handling of the outbreak.

Blue Bell spent weeks gradually recalling its products, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbert, and other frozen streams sold in 23 states.

Recalls started onĀ April, 20, 2015, after it said listeria was found on the lid of a food service cup the month before.

An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the listeria outbreak dated back to 2010.

The agency connected patients from 2010-2015 to the current outbreak through comparisons to a database of bacteria DNA.

Listeriosis is a potentially fatal infection caused by the germ listeria, which is found in soil, water and some animals such as poultry and cattle, including raw milk.

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The CDC says older adults, pregnant women, newborns and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

The investigation arrives just after Blue Bell announced plans to re-enter the market with Blue Bell ice cream products inĀ Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, among others, beginning January 18.

Written by Tammy Johnson

Tammy Johnson

Tammy Johnson is the Retail Editor at BusinessPundit. She focuses on Fortune 500 retail company's and disruptive brick-and-mortar and e-commerce companies that are changing the retail landscape.