Blue Bell Creameries is now under investigation by the federal government over the handling of the listeria outbreak that sickened ten people and caused three deaths.
According to CNN, the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the company to see if they committed any crimes during the handling of the outbreak.
After a wave of small recalls, Blue Bell issued a recall of all of their frozen dairy products, distributed in 23 states, in April 2015 after listeria was discovered in one of their factories. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the outbreak was first discovered in the same factory back in 2010, but proper steps were not taken to eliminate the bacteria.
“The fact that it was the same strain over the last five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time,” says Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases.
So far, Blue Bell has made no comments about the investigation. The company has been reintroducing their products to retailers across the country in phases since August 2015. Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida will be the next set of states that will receive shipments of the company’s products, beginning Jan. 18.