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Listeria Hysteria


This is not the Brady Bunch but if listeria had an attention-deprived younger sister, this is about the time she’d start complaining about all the spotlight-stealing and headline-hoarding.

Unfortunately for listeria (because bacteria cares about its reputation), the attention it’s receiving hasn’t been positive. It’s been taking away ice cream (right before summer!), placing doubt in the minds of consumers, and even creating questionable entrepreneurs as it continues to spread its bacterial self around the dairy industry. And its reign of terror is not over.

Blue Bell, the biggest name in the most recent listeria outbreak, has now announced they have laid off nearly two-fifths of their workforce. And if that’s not bad enough, those employees not impacted by the layoff have furloughs and pay cuts looming in their futures.

Though this would be a devastating announcement for any company, the news is especially sad for Blue Bell because before now, before listeria, they were going 108 years strong with no recalls and no workforce reductions.

In his written statement, Blue Bell CEO Paul Kruse said, “Our employees are part of our family, and we did everything we could to keep people on our payroll for as long as possible. At the same time, we have an obligation to do what is necessary to bring Blue Bell back and ensure its viability in the future. This is a sad day for all of us at Blue Bell, and for me personally.”

Damn you listeria!

But, there is still reason to stay optimistic! Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, another ice cream maker recently shut down amidst the listeria hysteria, is reopening on May 22 and bringing its frozen milk goodness back to the people.

Jeni’s has resumed production on limited flavors (for now)—including Sun-Popped Corn that sounds delightful for summer!

So though our hearts are heavy for Blue Bell today, we’ll stay positive that listeria’s 15 minutes of “fame” will soon be over and we can all get back to partying like this guy:

Feature Photo Credit: “A rainbow colored ice cream cone…” by Christin lola | Shutterstock

Amy Fukuizumi

Amy loves few things more than writing and cheese. As a testament to these loves, she drove across the country to join culture: the word on cheese. Her goal as Social Media Manager is to make the world (digitally) feel this love (and 'Like' it a lot).