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Blue Bell continues to fight against Listeria bacteria

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BRENHAM, Texas – While Blue Bell is back on store shelves, company officials say they are still fighting the effects of the Listeria outbreak.

Last year, Blue Bell facilities across the nation closed their doors following an outbreak of Listeria.

Blue Bell recalled all of its products and stopped production after 10 customers became ill after eating ice cream. Three Kansas patients, who were already hospitalized with other conditions, died after eating the ice cream.

In August, the company was given the OK to start production again.

On Thursday, the company released an update, saying it is doing everything it can to prevent Listeria from spreading into its products again.

“We continue to strictly adhere to our enhanced operations, policies, employee training and cleaning procedures to help give regulatory agencies and the public assurance that all aspects of our facilities and operations are resulting in a safe product,” the update read.

“Because Listeria is commonly found in the natural environment, no manufacturer can ever assume it can be entirely eradicated. We have worked closely with our expert team of microbiologists to develop an enhanced, robust testing system specifically designed for each facility to identify any possible presence of Listeria in the production environment, including extensive environmental testing and testing every single batch of ice cream we make before it is sold to customers,” the update continued.

Officials say they have “identified locations where suspected Listeria species may be present in our facility.”

However, they say they continue to clean and sanitize those areas and test every batch of ice cream before it is released.

So far, they say no products have tested positive for Listeria.