A federal court in Texas has ordered ice cream maker Blue Bell to pay $17.25 million in criminal penalties linked to a 2015 listeria outbreak. There were ten cases in four states, including three deaths in Kansas.
The fine and forfeiture amount is the largest-ever criminal penalty following a conviction in a food safety case. In a statement, the Justice Department says that American consumers must be able to trust that the foods they purchase are safe to eat. When Texas state officials first notified Blue Bell that samples tested positive for Listeria, the company told their delivery drivers to remove the two flavors from store shelves, but they did not recall the products or tell customers about the potential contamination.
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