September 1, 2022 | Mark Paradies

Mistrial Declared in Trial of Blue Bell’s Former CEO

Seven Years Later, No Verdict Reached

We previously wrote about the charges against Ex-Blue Bell CEO Paul Krause. Krause faced six counts, each with a maximum sentence of 20 years.

In the trial, the current CEO and a plant quality control manager testified for the prosecution. According to, the current CEO (who was, at the time of the outbreak, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing) agreed to testify to avoid charges.

The Austin American-Standard stated that the defense attorney, Chris Flood, stated that 10 of the 12 jurors voted not guilty after deliberating for four days.

Food Dive reports that the US Justice Department developed a policy in 2015 to focus on individual wrongdoing. The policy was outlined in a memo from then U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. The memo suggests that the policy will deter illegal activities and incentivizes changes in corporate behavior by holding the correct people accountable.

This was the second set of charges against Krause. The first set of felony charges were dropped after defense attorneys objected to the felony charges that were not brought before a grand jury.

In 2020, the company Blue Bell plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food products into interstate commerce and paid $19.35 million in fines and forfeitures.

The Justice Department has not commented on whether they will try another attempt at trying this case.

Prevent Major Accidents at Your Facilities

According to Food Dive, the problems that caused the 2015 outbreak date back to 2010. Thus a thorough root cause analysis and corrective actions for the problems discovered earlier could have prevented the outbreak and saved the company almost 20 million dollars and the damage to their reputation, as well as prevented the deaths of three people and the sickness of 10 others.

You need to use advanced root cause analysis to discover the real, fixable root causes of precursor incidents. Precursor incidents almost always warn of the potential for a major accident. If effective corrective actions are implemented after a thorough root cause analysis of a precursor incident, you will never know about the major accident that might have occurred.

Where can your people learn to perform advanced root cause analysis? At a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course.

I would suggest attending the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training to learn how to investigate precursor incidents and major accidents? CLICK HERE to see the list of the upcoming 5-Day Courses and HERE to see all the upcoming TapRooT® Courses.

TapRooT® Course

Accident, Current Events, Quality
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