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The Associated Press reports that Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries has issued yet another recall, this time of "select flavors of ice cream distributed across the South after finding chocolate chip cookie dough from a third-party supplier for use as an ingredient was potentially contaminated with listeria."

The company said that no illnesses related to consumption of the products have been reported; the ice cream is said to have been distributed to stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The story notes that "last year, Blue Bell halted sales and issued a voluntarily recall of all of its products due to bacteria contamination that was linked 10 listeria cases in four states, including three deaths, drawing regulatory scrutiny from federal and state officials.
KC's View:
The fact is that Blue Bell didn't just have to recall its products last year, but also seemed to be slow in understanding that transparency in such matters is an absolute requirement if one is to maintain the trust of consumers.

Now, to be fair, I have to admit here that I did not understand the degree of loyalty that many consumers feel about Blue Bell, so I underestimated the company's ability to come back from its food safety troubles. I don't want to make the same mistake twice, so I won't go predicting dire consequences for the company ... especially because this seems to be a different issue than last time around.

That said, a brand is responsible - legally, morally, ethically - for food safety up and down the supply chain. The "a third party did it" line may be an explanation, but it is not an excuse.

To use a Latin proverb I've often quoted here over the years, "Trust, like the soul, never returns once it goes".

At some point, this food safety bell can't be un-rung.

I also know this. I can't imagine any circumstances under which I would knowingly consume Blue Bell ice cream.