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Blue Bell Creameries Resumes Ice Cream Production After Listeria Crisis

One of the company's four production plants is operational again.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After months of dealing with a deadly listeria crisis, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries may have its ice cream back on store shelves in the near future. In May, the ice cream company issued an international recall of its products over concerns of a listeria contamination. Blue Bell's ice cream was linked to at least three deaths in a Kansas hospital and additional illnesses in multiple states. The recall forced Blue Bell to lay off nearly 1,450 workers after it stopped production, but things are starting to look up for the company.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Blue Bell has restarted production at its Alabama facility, where it is currently doing test runs. The company currently has four production facilities, and Blue Bell has not revealed when the other three (located in Texas and Oklahoma) will be operational again. The company notes that all four plants are "being cleaned" and that procedures are being "revised." The paper adds that even though the company is producing ice cream again, there is no way to estimate when the product will hit store shelves again due to "increased scrutiny from state and federal regulators."

Ohio-based Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams faced a similar listeria scare and had to recall its products and shutter its scoop shops twice this year. The recall cost the company nearly $2.5 million dollars. However, Jeni's found the source of its listeria outbreak and reopened its scoop shops last month.

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