Blue Bell Ice Cream Returns To Shelves Following Massive Recall

Blue Bell ice cream is returning to shelves beginning August 31. Earlier this year, the popular company initiated a massive recall and halted production, as several samples tested positive for listeria. Although the recall was devastating, Blue Bell Creameries confirmed they are ready to resume production of their famous ice cream.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 10 patients in four states were treated for Listeria monocytogenes between January, 2010, and January, 2015. A majority of those patients reported consuming Blue Bell ice cream products prior to the onset of their illness.

Samples collected from Blue Bell production facilities in Oklahoma and Texas subsequently tested positive for the same bacteria strains.

In an attempt to prevent further contamination and illness, Blue Bell creameries initiated a voluntary recall -- which eventually included all of their ice cream products.

Although the massive recall threatened to destroy the popular ice cream company, Texas billionaire Sid Bass made a "significant investment" to ensure future production and distribution.

As reported by Forbes, Blue Bell did not disclose the amount of the investment. However, CEO Paul Kruse confirmed the company is now ready to resume production.

According to ABC News, Blue Bell ice cream will return to the shelves beginning August 31. Company officials confirmed the re-introduction plan will consist of five phases.

Phase one will begin on August 31, and will include Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, as well as Austin, Brenham, and Houston, Texas. Phase two through five do not have start dates, but are expected before the end of the year.

  • Phase 2 -- Southern Oklahoma and north central Texas
  • Phase 3 -- Central Oklahoma and southwest Texas
  • Phase 4 -- Southern Louisiana and "the majority of Texas"
Phase five will complete the re-introduction of Blue Bell ice cream in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas. During this phase, the products will also be introduced in select cities throughout Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Brenham Creamery Company was founded in Brenham, Texas, in 1907. Although the company originally produced butter, they eventually expanded to include ice cream.

In 1930, the popular creamery changed their name to Blue Bell -- in honor of the wildflower with the same name.

According to their website, Blue Bell is "the best ice cream in the country," as their "quality standards never change and are never diluted or compromised."

Although fans were disappointed with the massive recall, and concerned for the future of the company as a whole, Blue Bell ice cream will begin returning to shelves before the end of the month.

[Image via Shutterstock]