Since 2010 three sloppily run Blue Bell ice cream manufacturing facilities had been churning out listeria tainted ice cream. The company knew they had a problem, but did nothing about it until people began dying, which turned the problem into something Blue Bell could no longer avoid.
Prior to the Blue Bell ice cream death scandal I thought Bell Bell ice cream was made by some sort of old fashioned method, using all natural high quality ingredients, using cream from very contented cows in the heart of Texas in a town called Brenham, with that town being a major tourist attraction due to its famous ice cream.
I thought Blue Bell only was able to produce enough ice cream to supply Texas.
Hence, I thought this to be the reason for the fixation, by many Texans, regarding Blue Bell as being a really special ice cream.
When the listeria scandal erupted, with the news that Blue Bell ice cream producing facilities in Oklahoma and Alabama, in addition to Brenham, Texas, were making ice cream with deadly bacteria, was when I learned that I was wrong about Blue Bell being some sort of special to Texas thing.
Instead Blue Bell is like some sort of con job that way too many people bought into, and continue to buy into.
As evidenced by all the verbalizations of excitement at Blue Blue being back on a few grocery store shelves, with the latest goofy governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, being photographed with his happy horde of Blue Bell ice cream cartons.
The Blue Bell ice cream that has returned to Texas stores has come in from Alabama. The ice cream making in Brenham has yet to resume.
What I don't get is why have so many Texans become like cult members worshiping a tainted ice cream? Blue Bell's shoddy manufacturing standards resulted in an unknown number of people getting sick from listeria, with four dying, with ten still in serious condition.
Many people are perplexed by the Blue Bell fandom.
That is a Facebook screen cap you see above, posted by the Dallas Morning News. The Facebook post led me to a Dallas Morning News article titled Why Blue Bell qualifies as "mediocre" ice cream in which the article's author wrote, in part....
The foregoing is not an attempt to unnecessarily pummel Blue Bell ice cream, a company that amazes me with its ability to instill ferocious brand loyalty for a humdrum product.
Call this a reader service: What you’ll find here is fuller data underlying my reference yesterday to Blue Bell as “mediocre.” I also wanted to respond to blog commenter John Leddy, who wondered about details of the taste test in question.
The sad news for Blue Bell fans is this: BB’s vanilla was rated lower than Costco, Walmart and Walgreens house brands by an expert panel employed by Consumer Reports.
Overall, Blue Bell came in 12th out of 18 samples. This was in 2014, after Blue Bell had evidence of the deadly listeria bacterium on plant property and before it began a stealth withdrawal of products. CR’s panel may be lucky they survived the taste test.
If there’s any solace for Blue Bell faithful it might be this: At least Blue Bell managed to edge out Kroger’s.
Both the Dallas Morning News Facebook post and the online article generated an amusing collection of comments, which show how rabid the members of the Blue Bell cult are, and how much the cult perplexes those who have not drank the Blue Bell Kool-Aid flavored ice cream. A few examples of the comments....
THANK GOD! ... Finally a sense of reason.. It is VERY AVERAGE ice cream. Hey look you wanna spout of Texas Pride and all and love Blue Bell for that reason go ahead.. I get it.. I Drink Lone Star beer most of the time. Doesn't mean its the best beer on the planet.
This article is a joke! I've tasted almost all of the above mentioned brands and most of them don't come even close to being as good as Blue Bell. Some are just plain bad and/or taste cheap. Roger Jones, this article could very well rate you as a mediocre reporter.
Come up with any BS Consumer Report Survey you want, it's obvious you're not from Texas. Unless you're some left leaning Yankee, Blue Bell will ALWAYS be the preferred ice cream in Texas. Keep enjoying that lefty stuff from Ben and Jerry.
Seriously, I haven't been a fan of blue bell in years. I prefer Ben & Jerry's not only for their inventive flavors, but their social consciousness as well.
Never once purchased a product due to a company's "social consciousness". Have to be a lib. Blue Bell does good things too.
I've eaten Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I never once tasted the "social consciousness".
See what I mean? Blue Bell does good things too? Like what? Like acting responsibly when it is learned they have a problem in their system that is killing people?
Unless you are a Yankee lib, Blue Bell will always be your ice cream of choice, no matter how many people it kills?
From what does the Cult of Blue Bell come? As we just learned from Consumer Reports, it has nothing to do with the quality of the ice cream.
Is it because way back when Blue Bell first began churning out ice cream they were the first ice cream churners in Texas? I imagine ice cream likely came late to Texas, what with the state being so hot and freezing technology likely being difficult in a climate so hot, back early in the last century.
Or does the Cult of Blue Bell come from it being of limited availability for a lot of years? Causing a sort of mystique, like Coors Beer used to be for people on the west coast, back in the 60s and 70s.
But now, in 2015, with Blue Bell being a corporate monster, with the ice cream being churned out in Oklahoma and Alabama, in addition to Texas, shouldn't the mystique of this ice cream having some sort of special Texas connotation begin a quick fade into history?