We have a date for Blue Bell’s return to North Texas stores: Nov. 2.
The Texas-based company announced it will also stock store freezers with ice cream in Waco, as well as parts of Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
In late August, Blue Bell had resumed ice cream sales in Houston, Austin and Brenham and parts of Alabama. Sales had been halted due to listeria contamination. Blue Bell voluntarily recalled its products in April after they were linked to 10 listeria cases in four states, including three deaths in Kansas.
‘Tremendous consumer response’
“We have experienced tremendous consumer response and support since our return to stores on Aug. 31,” Ricky Dickson, Blue Bell’s vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement. “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.”
Production plants in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama underwent an extensive cleaning and decontamination, under the regulatory oversight of health officials.
At the moment, Blue Bell ice cream is being made in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Sylacauga, Alabama. The company expects to produce ice cream in its hometown of Brenham in the next few months.
For now, five flavors are available: Buttered Pecan, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla and The Great Divide. More flavors will be added down the road. Twelve-packs of vanilla and chocolate are also available in stores, Blue Bell says.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.