FDA unaware of listeria in Blue Bell plant before outbreak

The Food and Drug Administration says it wasn’t told listeria had been found in a Blue Bell Creameries plant before an outbreak linked to its ice cream turned deadly.

Results of an FDA investigation released this week show the company had found the bacteria dating back to 2013. The FDA said Friday that it was not aware of those findings before doing its own inspection this year.

Companies are required to report to the FDA if they find a “reasonable probability” that a food could make people sick. Blue Bell’s listeria samples were found on surfaces and not in the ice cream, and the company didn’t test to see if the strain was one of the more dangerous.

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