The Blue Bell Creameries, a Texas-based American ice cream company, has been found guilty in listeria conspiracy.
One of the most beloved ice cream brands in the U.S. was accused of causing listeria poisoning back in 2015. The contaminated Blue Bell goods led to 10 known listeria cases in four states, and three people in the state of Kansas eventually died from it.
It is believed that listeria had spread through a drainage system at a Blue Bell’s Oklahoma plant.
On May 1st the company pled guilty, agreed to pay more than $19 million in fines and forfeiture as part of a plea agreement on two misdemeanor counts for shipping contaminated ice cream. It will be the second-ever largest sum paid for a food-safety lawsuit, reports the Associated Press.
Paul Kruse, the former Blue Bell’s CEO, was charged in a federal court with seven felonies for allegedly concealing what the company knew about the listeria contamination. His lawyer claims that Kruse is innocent and that he, along with other Blue Bell staff members, “did the best they could with the information they had at the time.”