AUSTIN, Texas — A federal court in Texas ordered ice cream manufacturer Blue Bell Creameries L.P. to pay $17.25 million in criminal penalties for shipments of contaminated products linked to a 2015 listeriosis outbreak, announced the U.S. Department of Justice.
Blue Bell also agreed to pay an additional $2.1 million to resolve civil False Claims Act allegations regarding ice cream products manufactured under insanitary conditions and sold to federal facilities.
The DOJ said Blue Bell pleaded guilty in May 2020 to two misdemeanor counts of distributing adulterated ice cream products. The sentence was consistent with the terms of a plea agreement previously filed in the case.
“American consumers must be able to trust that the foods they purchase are safe to eat,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The sentence imposed today sends a clear message to food manufacturers that the Department of Justice will take appropriate actions when contaminated food products endanger consumers.”
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