Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"B" as in BLUE BELL Icecream

 It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This week we are studying the letter "B."

"B" as in Blue Bell Ice Cream.  Blue Bell Ice Cream is a Texas company and has been linked to an outbreak of listeria.  Three people have died and others have become seriously ill.

In Texas there is undying loyalty to Blue Bell Ice Cream.  The company is based in Brenham, Texas.  People still seem to think it's produced by a "little creamery in Brenham."  However, Blue Bell is the third largest producer of ice cream in the United States.  At one time there was a "little creamery," but those days are long gone.  This is a big company and big companies sometimes make decisions based on profits.  I believe that is what happened in this case.  In Texas that is a controversial stand.

From the very beginning I've been dismayed by the loyalty people have shown for this product.  Yes, the ice cream tastes good to me too, but three people have died and others probably have life long health problems now due to eating Blue Bell.

A large Houston furniture company wasted no time in running a full page ad in the Houston Chronicle days after the listeria discovery proclaiming "God Bless Blue Bell."  No mention was made of the people that were killed or permanently affected from eating this listeria based product.  No "God Bless" for them?

Signs proclaiming "God Bless Blue Bell" appeared in yards. 

People immediately held prayer vigils for Blue Bell.  Did they remember to pray for the victims of this tragedy?  I sure hope so.  They wanted their Blue Bell back for the summer.  That seemed to be the most important thing to a lot of them.

Is it possible that subconsciously the powers that be at Blue Bell thought they were invincible because of this kind of customer loyalty?   What exactly were they thinking?

The last thing anyone should pray for is a quick turn around.  From what I've read listeria is very difficult to get rid of in plants.  IF Blue Bell survives they need to be sure that this doesn't happen again.  Another listeria scare would in all probability do them in.

I guess this all hit close to home for me.  I read that one of the people that died was recovering from cancer.  I watched my son go through hell and back to be cancer free today.  He went through numerous rounds of chemo and two stem cell transplants to get to where he is today.  Twice his immune system was  practically wiped out so he could receive hopefully healthy stem cells.  Over the last five years he has spent the equivalent of three months in the hospital. At times he's been very sick and lost a lot of weight.  What do you offer someone with little appetite and in need of calories?  Ice cream!  Who hasn't offered a sick person ice cream?

I found this on the Internet:

Who is most likely to get seriously ill from Listeria bacteria?

Healthy adults and children hardly ever become seriously ill from Listeria. However, people at increased risk of illness from Listeria bacteria include:
  • Pregnant women – Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get listeriosis than the average healthy adult
  • Newborns
  • People with weak immune systems
  • People with cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease
  • People with AIDS – People with AIDS are 300 times more likely to get sick from Listeria than people with normal immune systems
  • People who take gluticocorticosteroids such as cortisone
  • Elderly people

What bothers me the most is that Blue Bell continued to sell their products to hospitals, nursing homes, and schools knowing listeria had been found in their plants.  I find this pretty disturbing.  At the time you and I probably didn't know much about listeria, but anyone in the food industry certainly would have known.  The listeria wasn't just present in the Brenham plant.  It was present in other plants too.  That would seem to indicate a company wide problem.  Later it came out that they had known about it for a few years. 

I can understand the people in Brenham, Texas being loyal to Blue Bell.  I'm sure many of Blue Bell's employees lived pay check to pay check.  There just aren't that many other jobs in Brenham for these dedicated employees.  After initially saying they hadn't laid off anyone in over 100 years and they wouldn't now, it happened.

I say God Bless the families of the people that were killed by listeria.  God Bless the people that became ill with listeria and who have lives that will never be the same.  God Bless the loyal employees (and former employees) that had nothing to do with the decisions that were made and now must pay the price.

This tragedy could have been a lot worse.  Thank God it wasn't.

Please  head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thank you for visiting.


  1. I agree with you, and when this sort of thing happens (with any food) I usually don't ever buy it again. God bless your son and his struggles to be cancer-free- now that is newsworthy! Sending prayers!

  2. It's a sad state of affairs.....

  3. I agree with you here. Big business is sadly just that! No concern for those who died or will spend their lives trying to recover from the effects of this deadly disease! The loss of jobs because of greed and ignorance. It reminds me of our own government. The negligence is undeniable and yet there is always some cover up, sweeping it under the carpet. I have prayed about this and find is absolutely disgusting. We had purchased many of their products but no more. I know the pain and suffering your son had to deal with. I worked in a large research hospital for a long while.You and your family suffered through it all and I am grateful your son is doing well. I never stop praying, it comforts me like nothing in this world can! Thank you for this share.

  4. You know I agree with you - no more Blue Bell ice cream for this girl - we will low immune systems and even if you don't need to be careful.

  5. And B is for Betty too. Great said post. My husband was commenting on some of the things that have come out. He is in the industry working for many years in the Poultry industry. I think you wrote a great post. Thanks for speaking out.

  6. I'm from TX, but have never been a Blue Bell fan. We eat Haagen Daz. It's a sad state of affairs. I doubt the company can recover from it. It's sad to think about the lives that were lost and forever changed.
    Glad your son is doing well.

  7. Not good news ~ but the good news is your son being cancer free ~ you are blessed ~

    Think Blue Bell needs to prove themselves safe ~ How? not sure ~ Thanks for coming by ~

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  8. That is terrible ! Prayers don't help, food control should be more efficient !

  9. That's a shocker. I guess we should never take anything for granted.

  10. I love a good soapbox rant...well done !!! ;)

  11. Betty, this is such an eye opening post! The parallel to giving Reid ice cream to help him keep weight on really gave me pause.

    Is there any safe foods today?

    I know they say grow it yourself and eat organic but I always just sort of wonder.

    So many illnesses and diseases on the increase.

    Saying a prayer for those effected by the contamination.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Hugs and A=


Thank you for taking the time to visit my little world and leave a comment. I appreciate hearing from you.

I do not receive all comments by E-mail and I'm not exactly sure why. I do try and remember to check the actual blog so I won't miss any of your comments.

I do not belong to Google+ and regret that I am unable to leave comments on Google+ blogs.

WORD VERIFICATION: I have NOT set up word verification for comments. However, every so often it appears on my blog even though I have chosen NO in the settings. Please let me know if you encounter word verification when leaving a comment so I can try and fix it. Thanks.