Blue Bell Says Listeria Likely Spread Via Plant Drainage

The company also said it couldn't identify a single source of Listeria bacteria that contaminated equipment.

According to an Associated Press report, Blue Bell Creameries has said that it believes Listeria bacteria spread at its Oklahoma plant through a drainage system, although it couldn't identify a single source of listeria that contaminated the equipment. The findings were revealed in documents sent to the FDA. In the documents, Blue Bell said cleaned equipment that came into contact with products made was being stored in a small room with a floor drain. Particles at the plant may have carried listeria and washed into the building's drainage system through the drain and settled on the clean equipment.

"We believe that this mechanism — particles emitted from a drain — was the most likely source of listeria," Blue Bell wrote in the February filing.

The company no longer uses that room for equipment storage, and the drain was removed.

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