Listeria monocytogenes found in Blue Bell products has been linked to 10 illnesses, including three deaths. The company announced a broad, voluntary recall of "all of its products currently on the market made at all of its facilities including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks . . ."
In a press release on its website, President and CEO Paul Kruse is quoted:
"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. We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers. Our entire history has been about making the very best and highest quality ice cream and we intend to fix this problem. We want enjoying our ice cream to be a source of joy and pleasure, never a cause for concern, so we are committed to getting this right."
He also said,
"At every step, we have made decisions in the best interest of our customers based on the evidence we had available at the time. At this point, we cannot say with certainty how Listeria was introduced to our facilities and so we have taken this unprecedented step. We continue to work with our team of experts to eliminate this problem.”
This must be a difficult time for the 108-year-old company: this is the first recall the management team has had to address.
The news follows a recall of Sabra hummus products also because of potential listeria, although no illnesses have been reported.
- Assess Blue Bell's press release. What principles of persuasive communication does it follow?
- What else, if anything, should be the management communicate at this point?