Blue Bell Ice Cream announced that they will be making a comeback in the southeast starting Jan. 25. The company voluntarily suspended operations after a listeria monocytogenes outbreak last year.
Three people in Kansas died from contamination.
The Center for Disease Control reported that a total of 10 patients were infected with multiple strains of the bacteria dating back to 2010 until 2015. The cases were reported from Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Those who were at high risk for listeriosis included pregnant women and their newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.
After an investigation by the FDA, the company identified that the contaminated products were Blue Bell’s single serving ice cream products.
Blue Bell has made enhancements in their facilities to procedures and equipment. They created a ‘test and hold’ procedure where ice cream is not distributed until the production run is tested, according to Jenny Van Dorf, Public Relations Market Specialist at Blue Bell Creameries.
Van Dorf explained that the company does this to ensure that the ice cream they distribute is safe for consumption.
The company stated on their Facebook page that they will continue to work closely with their regulatory agencies, as they have throughout this year.
In an attempt to rebrand their image, Blue Bell Ice Cream will be offering new flavors: Pistachio Almond, Butter Crunch, Butter Pecan and several more.
Van Dorf stated that the company will continue to annouce new flavors on their social media pages.
Blue Bell Ice Cream will be available in all of Florida, southern Georgia, and the southern tip of South Carolina. Some cities in Florida were restocked before the new year.
Amanda Kaye, a fourth-year facilities management student from Pensacola, purchased Blue Bell in her hometown during Christmas break.
“Blue Bell is the only ice cream I eat,” Kaye said.
She explained that her loyalty to the company restored her faith in the quality of Blue Bell’s products; she did not hesitate when the time came to purchase the newly restocked item.
Liza Tillman, a fourth-year economics and political science student from Miami, said she will be ready to purchase Blue Bell on redistribution day and hopes the item doesn’t sell out too quickly.
“I can’t wait for Blue Bell to be back. My favorite flavor was Natural Vanilla Bean," Tillman said.
To fnd out if Blue Bell Ice Cream is in your area, visit http://www.bluebell.com/locator.