Blue Bell Is Facing a Record Fine for Ice Cream Linked to Listeria Outbreak

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The little creamery from Brenham, Texas is ordered to pay $17.25 million dollars in criminal penalties.

This comes after shipments of contaminated products were found to be linked to a 2015 listeria outbreak.

Blue Bell pleaded guilty in May to two misdemeanor counts of distributing adulterated ice cream products.

The Justice Department says the fine and forfeiture amount is the biggest criminal penalty ever in the US, following a conviction in a food safety case.

At least three deaths were linked to the contaminated Blue Bell ice cream.

"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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