July 24, 2015 — Blue Bell Creameries has turned on ice cream machines at its Sylacauga, Alabama plant as testing continues after a deadly Listeria outbreak.
Health officials will closely monitor the test runs at the Alabama plant for Listeria. Once the trial period is over, Blue Bell will start building inventory to return to the market. No date has been set for resuming ice cream sales.
On Wednesday, the company tweeted:
“Today our machines cranked up and we began evaluating our enhanced production processes. Each day we’re getting closer to bringing Blue Bell back!”
Last week, Texas oil billionaire Sid Bass agreed to loan up to $125 million to help Blue Bell rebound from the recall. The deal could give the Bass family a one-third stake in the private company, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Blue Bell is an iconic Texas brand with a devoted following. The company had never issued a recall in its 108-year history until April, when testing confirmed Listeria contamination. At least three hospitalized patients in Kansas died and 10 people were sickened in four states. The company destroyed about 8 million gallons of ice cream and shut down production at four facilities in Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama.
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