More than three months after issuing a total recall due to a Listeria outbreak, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries may soon see its products back in stores. The company has been producing and testing ice cream at its Alabama facility, and the Austin American-Statesman reports that health officials have given the OK to begin selling again. Tests on the ice cream have shown no signs of Listeria.
Blue Bell indicated a comeback is in the works, announcing on Facebook Wednesday, "We're busy at our Sylacauga, AL, facility crankin' out ice cream and building inventory. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the details of our return!"
The Listeria crisis forced the first recall in Blue Bell's 108-year existence. It came after ice cream contaminated with the bacteria was linked to three deaths and more illnesses in Kansas and Texas, and it resulted in 1,405 layoffs. Many say the recall was came too late, and one man who is suing the company claims he became ill after eating Blue Bell ice cream in 2013. The U.S. Justice Department recently declared it may seek criminal prosecution against companies that are responsible for widespread outbreaks of food-borne illness.