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Blue Bell deep cleaning all plants, re-training employees

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BRENHAM, Texas — Blue Bell Creameries is closing its plants in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas for a deep cleaning at each facility.

The company has recalled all its products after finding Listeria at two plants and reports of seven people who were sickened and three deaths.

Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause sometimes fatal infections in the very young, elderly people or those with weakened immune systems.

The four plants will be closed for at least the week, maybe into next week.

In addition to a thorough cleaning, employees will review current and new techniques and the company is planning changes to equipment.

Blue Bell plans to start selling ice cream in stores again soon, but only after it has been tested before it leaves the plant.

“We’ve always worked to make the very highest quality ice cream,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse in a prepared statement. “We intend to make a fresh start and that begins with intensive cleaning and enhanced training. This is a paradigm shifting event at Blue Bell and we want to put in place new systems to drive continuous improvement.”

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