For kitchen garbage cans across America, it was delicious news.  

On Monday, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a nationwide recall of every single flavor of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sherbet it makes due to concerns over a listeria contamination more widespread than the company first feared.
In March, Blue Bell issued a partial recall after three deaths in Kansas were linked to a listeria contamination in several varieties of its ice cream. 
 
Ice cream distributed from multiple locations is now also testing positive for the bacteria that causes the food-borne illness listeriosis. The cause of the contamination is still under investigation.

"At this point, we cannot say with certainty how Listeria was introduced to our facilities, and so we have taken this unprecedented step," the company said in a written statement. 

In addition to the recall, Blue Bell says it is beefing up its sanitation practices, in some cases by as much as 800 percent. Daily product samples will now be sent to "a leading microbiology laboratory" for testing.
 
It also announced the implementation of a new "test and hold" system to ensure products are "held for release to the market only after the tests show they are safe."

Dr. Jonlee Andrews, an Indiana University business professor specializing in brand management, says it's exactly those sorts of enhanced quality assurance protocols that may help prevent the permanent contamination of the Blue Bell brand. 

"I suspect they're reasoning is that if we can show people we can be good stewards of their health, maybe they will trust us to get these things cleaned up and not have these problems in the future," Andrews said.

Andrews points to Johnson & Johnson's response to the 1982 Tylenol scare as a laudable -- and effective -- example of corporate crisis management. The company immediately recalled 31 million bottles of its top-selling pain reliever once it was determined that pills deliberately laced with cyanide had caused the death of seven people in the Chicago area. When Tylenol went back on the shelf, it was in tamper-proof packaging.

"If you think about the Johnson and Johnson case in the 1980s, it was just six or eight bottles in one store," she said. "They took the high road and they bounced back pretty well." 

Blue Bell appears determined to have the same said of them.

“We’re committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe,” Blue Bell's president, Paul Kruse, said in a video posted on the company's Web site. “We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers."

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