We buy ice cream to enjoy a little treat. It should bring pleasure, but now it appears that it has brought death. Blue Bell ice cream has been linked to multiple deaths.
The problem is bacteria. Ice cream contaminated by bacteria has led to three fatalities in Kansas. In response, Blue Bell has announced its first ever recall in more than a century of business. Ironically, the products were not sold in retail outlets, but were distributed to institutional purchasers, like hospitals.
From January of last year to this past January, five people contracted a life-threatening infection from the bacteria, and three of them have died.
The contamination was detected in February by inspectors in South Carolina. The flavors involved were Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwich and the Great Divide Bar. Texas inspectors later found contamination in a product entitled Scoops.
This hazard demonstrates the vital need for proper controls by food makers, and vigilant oversight by governmental inspectors. When we buy products at grocery stores, eat at restaurants, or are even fed in hospitals, we have no way to ascertain the safety of the food we consume. In our highly-interdependent food industry, it is a practical impossibility for consumers to protect themselves from food-borne dangers. Thus, we must trust companies and inspectors. As a result, the highest alertness on their part is required. And when there is a breakdown in safety precautions, the producer must undergo review and take responsibility for all of the harm caused by its lapses in food-safety protection.