Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hard times in the land of plenty

-- Baker Hughes increases their oilpatch layoffs to 10,500.  Halliburton cuts 9,000.  Schlumberger slices another 11,000.  The freshly-unemployed will be blaming Obama at some point.

-- Blue Bell is recalling ALL of its ice cream products in the United States, because it cannot pinpoint the origin of the listeria outbreak in its supply chain.

Brenham-based Blue Bell Creameries is pulling all of its products from the shelves after more ice cream samples tested positive for a life-threatening bacterial infection.

The voluntary decision, announced Monday, is the latest and most sweeping development to plague the Texas business icon since a recall last month, the first in the company's 108-year history.

It came after an "enhanced sampling program" that found half-gallon containers of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream produced on March 17 and March 27 contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, company officials said.


The latest tests mean the company had several positive tests for listeria in different plants.  On Monday, company officials said they "cannot say with certainty" how listeria was introduced into their plants.

This is the sort of disaster that usually devastates a company.  Blue Bell has indeed been a Lone Star staple almost all of my life, but what happens to them from here is likely either bankruptcy or acquisition by another food conglomerate for pennies on the dollar.

Houston and Houstonians are in for a world of hurt in the months ahead.

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