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Texas hands Blue Bell potential $850K fine over listeria

Texas fined Blue Bell Creameries for a listeria contamination last year linked to the deaths of three people, but the ice cream maker could end up paying only a fraction of the $850,000 penalty under an agreement announced Friday.

Listeria bacteria can cause serious illness, especially in older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Listeria can be found on surfaces that come in contact with the food, and not just the food itself.

Approximately 8 million gallons of ice cream and ice cream products were recalled, according to the company, and production plants in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama underwent extensive cleaning and decontamination.

Read more: The Eagle