Blue Bell Update: Still Singing the Listeria Blues

Something tells me this will be a case study in business schools across the country in the not too distant future. From Blue Bell PR:

Blue Bell Creameries Update

Brenham, TX – NOTE: Blue Bell Creameries will issue periodic updates to keep the public informed about developments and progress in the Blue Bell Ice Cream recall and the company’s process for returning to the marketplace.

Product Retrieval: Blue Bell has collected approximately 8 million gallons of ice cream and ice cream products from retailers, institutions and other outlets in the U.S and internationally, and this phase of the product recall is now complete. Consumers who may still have Blue Bell products are encouraged to dispose of them or return them to a local retailer for a refund. Consumers should call 979-836-7977, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, with any questions.

Production Facilities: The Blue Bell production plants in Brenham, Texas, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Sylacauga, Alabama, are closed and no ice cream is being produced at this time. We are continuing the process of thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing each facility, including disassembling equipment, conducting extensive maintenance and repairs, and conducting employee training in microbiology and sanitization. We are also reviewing all of our operating procedures and every step of the production process to eliminate possible contamination pathways.

Estimated Timeline

The extensive and detailed process of updating, cleaning and sanitizing our four production facilities, as well as training employees and implementing new programs and procedures, will take longer than we initially anticipated. Each facility will have its own timetable and production may resume in some locations before others. Blue Bell is committed to a thorough process that will ensure the highest quality and safety of our products for our customers going forward. We know we have to get this right, and we intend to do so. That is our top priority.

“Unfortunately, we do not yet have a firm timeline for when Blue Bell Ice Cream will be back in stores, but we believe at this time that it will be several months at a minimum,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “We are evaluating all of our operations in light of this extended timeline, we are working closely with the appropriate federal and state regulatory agencies and our microbiology experts, and we are mapping out the many details of returning to production and distribution as soon as we can do so with confidence. We thank all our customers for their support and patience as we work to create the cleanest, safest environment possible to produce the high-quality, great-tasting ice cream people expect from Blue Bell.”

Jim Brown: Has LSU Dug Its Own Hole?

April 30th, 2015
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

HAS LSU DUG ITS OWN HOLE?

Chicken Little has got nothing on King Alexander. The LSU president is shouting from the rooftops that the state financial commitment is crumbling to the ground, the LSU fiscal sky is falling, and he is about to declare “academic bankruptcy.” Academic bankruptcy? I’ve been around and a part of Louisiana state government for some 44 years, and I’ve never heard of the phrase. You can’t even Google it and find any other example.

The LSU boss stirred up a real hornet’s nest of opposition with a number of voices, including many legislators, responding that Alexander was shooting from the hip and way overreacting. LSU quickly backtracked and put out a statement saying they were merely preparing for possible “financial exigency.” I haven’t heard of this one either, but the Prez is hoppin’ mad and want’s more money from the legislature for the state’s flagship campus.

Now in fairness to Alexander, he does have reason to gripe. The Louisiana legislature has marched in lockstep with Governor Bobby Jindal’s efforts to strip higher education to the bones year after year. The question is, just were has the educational establishment been al this time as funds were continually reduced? The answer is simply that those who live off the higher education spout didn’t want to rock the boat and draw attention to the number of enormous salaries that are being paid, many for non-academic work. Over two hundred higher education employees take in more than $200 thousand a year.

Presidents of even smaller Louisiana colleges average $350,000 a year. LSU lists 13 Directors of Academic Affairs, each making over $200,000. It can be lucrative if you can make it into the academic bureaucracy, so unless your job is at risk, there is little upside to “taking one” for the Higher Ed team. Continue Reading…..