After almost four months, beloved Texas ice cream chain, Blue Bell Creameries, will begin trial runs of ice cream production the week of July 20, health officials confirm. The trial run will take place in its Alabama plant. The company took to their Facebook page to confirm the testing of production.
“Yes it’s true…our Alabama facility will begin test production in the next several weeks!” the company wrote. “Thanks again for your support.”
The trial signifies that the company is nearing the completion of its upgrades at the Alabama facility, which has been closed along with the facilities in Texas and Oklahoma since April.
The ice cream company was forced to do a recall for all of its products and cease production after the ice cream was linked to 10 different cases of listeriosis, a bacterial illness, in four states. The illness, due to the ice cream, has had fatal results in three Kansas patients who were already hospitalized for other conditions after consuming the product.
Ron Dawsey, deputy director of environmental services for the Alabama Department of Public Health, has confirmed that Blue Bell notified Alabama officials of the trial run. The company has only been able to resume manufacturing activity after reaching an agreement with the State Health Departments in Alabama, Texas, and Oklahoma.
If the trial is successful, it is not clear when products will return to for sale, but the company did assure officials that all potential sources of listeria have been eliminated.