Blue Bell ice cream products will return to North Texas grocery stores on Monday, the company says.
The Texas-based creamery recalled all of its products and halted production early last summer over listeria contamination -- the source of which was never found.
Blue Bell returned to some Texas and Alabama stores Aug. 31 with ice cream produced first in Sylacauga, Alabama and then Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
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Phase two of the company's return to market includes North Central Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth and Waco areas) and North Central and Southern Oklahoma (Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas).
“We have experienced tremendous consumer response and support since our return to stores on Aug. 31,” said Ricky Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing for Blue Bell. “This support, coupled with our current production capacity, has slowed our ability to enter additional distribution areas. We are working as hard as we can to keep stores in phase one stocked without jeopardizing the new quality and safety procedures we have implemented to ensure our products are safe and of the highest quality.”
Blue Bell said they do not have a date for any other phases at this time and have not said when the company's facility in Brenham, Texas will resume production.
“We continue to make good progress and expect to begin production at our main plant in Brenham in the next few months,” Dickson said. “With our Broken Arrow plant now producing ice cream, we are confident that we can build enough inventory to enter phase two."
For now Blue Bell is producing five flavors of ice cream in the half gallon and pint sizes: Buttered Pecan, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla and The Great Divide. More flavors will be added in the future. 12-pak Homemade Vanilla Cups and 12-pak Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate Cups are also available in stores.
For more information and to find out where Blue Bell is available visit Blue Bell's website.