Blue Bell’s ex-CEO faces prison time for listeria outbreak

The former chief executive of Blue Bell, one of America’s biggest ice cream companies, has been charged in a conspiracy to cover up a deadly listeria outbreak in 2015. Paul Kruse now faces a million-dollar fine and many years in prison, Food Safety News reports. According to court papers, the company instructed its drivers to remove tainted ice cream from its customers’ freezers during their deliveries, saying there was a problem with “malfunctioning equipment.” Kruse also told an employee to stop testing for the hardy bacteria, even after lab results came back positive. That’s not all. As part of the federal case, Blue Bell has agreed to pay over $19 million in fines and payments—the second-largest amount ever in a food safety case.