I’m at Bluebell today with friends and colleagues Toby Burk and Charles Parnell. Behind us the Bluebell factory is completely shut down as they undergo a thorough cleaning. These good people are taking a big hit in order to ensure maximum safety for what I consider to be the best retail ice cream I’ve ever had.
Bluebell Ice Cream began in the early 1900s in the small Texas town of Brenham, and has grown to be the third-largest ice cream in the U. S. This German settlement of Brenham has about a dozen Lutheran churches in the same general area, including Christ Lutheran, where I was earlier today, just a mile from Bluebell HQ. In its 108-year history, there have never been any contaminations or recalls, so this current situation comes as a shock to everyone.
Listeria is tricky. This bacteria is killed by cooking and pasteurization, but contamination can hapeont through packaging. It is uncommon in ice cream. In fact, wisteria cannot grow in freezing temperatures. It can, however, be brought in by other products such as nuts.
There have been many recalls this year. Sabra Dipping Company recalled 30,000 containers of hummus. Amy’s Kitchen recalled 74,000 cases of pizza and other things. Kraft recalled 242,000 boxes of macaroni and cheese. Trader Joe’s recalled walnuts due to salmonella detections. Whole Foods recalled garlic powder.