Although I took this week off to go on a family vacation to Arlington, Texas, it does not mean the food industry took a week long vacation as well. In May of this past year, a well known ice cream maker, Blue Bell Creameries, recalled about eight million gallons of its products internationally after federal officials linked the company and their products to ten cases of listeria and three deaths. The reason one hundred and eight year old company is in the news again after being exiled for almost three months is because a Fort Worth billionaire named Sid Bass announced his plan to invest in Blue Bell, which he said should keep the company afloat. Before the listeria outbreak and everything was running smoothly, Blue Bell employed more than four thousand workers across twenty states, including nine hundred at its Brenham facility, located about three hours south of Dallas. Although the company has yet to restart production at this facility and two others, the company tweeted out on Wednesday night that their machines were up and running and they were evaluating their production processes at their plant in Sylacauga, Alabama in hopes of getting its products back on store shelves.
The reason I decided to write about this case was due in part to how often Bob Hanline preaches to his employees the importance of sticking to the procedures it has put in place, and even then how things can go wrong. For example, In 2007 alone, Cargill, Incorporated, Eurofresh, Incorporated, Mattel, Incorporated, and ConAgra Foods, Incorporated, just to name a few companies, were forced to recall a line of their products after it was found their products were tainted and unsafe for human consumption. Each week Bob hands all of us interns an article about food safety or an article about a company that was forced to recall its products because of a health concern. Unlike other industries where you can control what goes wrong, in the food industry, you cannot, and this can force a company to go under no matter how well-known they are.