After several months of being out of shops and supermarkets’ shelves across the country, on Monday Blue Bell began to distribute their ice cream once again.
The company had to suspend production at its plants in Texas and Oklahoma, after it was discovered the existence of listeria, a bacteria that can be fatal if not controlled in time, which affected 10 people, of which three died. In April Blue Bell had to make a withdrawal of all their existing products to prevent further infections.
In early August, authorities in Alabama approved Blue Bell’s request to resume production and delivery. Currently, the company only has limited production capacity and plans to enter 15 states in five phases. The first phase started on Monday, which includes distribution in Brenham, Houston and Austin, Texas; in addition to Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama.
The second phase will comprise of northern Texas and southern Oklahoma. The third, southwestern Texas and central Oklahoma. The fourth, the rest of Texas and southern Louisiana and finally distribution in Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The first plants to start producing ice cream are those that are located in Sylacauga (Alabama), Brehnham (Texas) and Broken Arrow (Oklahoma).
The returning ice cream flavors are Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla, Cookies and Cream and The Great Divide.
“In recent months we have been working to make our facilities even better, and to ensure that everything we produce is safe, healthy and of the highest quality for you to enjoy,” stated Ricky Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing at Blue Bell.