Blue Bells products were linked to a fatal listeria outbreak

Blue Bell's products were linked to a fatal listeria outbreak

Blue Bell Creameries has announced it has entered into a voluntary agreement with the Alabama Department of Public Health that includes requiring the company to inform the state whenever there is listeria detected in its products or ingredients.

The agreement is similar to ones signed last month with the Texas and Oklahoma state regulatory agencies. It details certain actions Blue Bell will take to help give the public confidence that when Blue Bell products return to market, they are safe, the company said.

In April this year the company pulled all of its ice cream from US retail shelves after being linked to a fatal listeria outbreak.

The actions under the agreement include "rigorous" facility cleaning and sanitising, revised testing protocols, revised production policies and procedures designed to prevent future contamination, and upgraded employee training initiatives.

"We hope that the agreement between Blue Bell and the Alabama Department of Public Health will reassure our customers that we are taking the necessary steps to bring Blue Bell Ice Cream back to the market," said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and president. "We are committed to making these changes so that we meet the high standards and expectations of our customers and our regulatory agencies. Blue Bell will also continue to work cooperatively and transparently with the US Food and Drug Administration."