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Blue Bell Announces Planned Return To Market

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BRENHAM, TX (CBSDFW.COM) -- Blue Bell Creameries announced on Monday that it will begin distributing ice cream to select Texas markets on Monday, Aug. 31.

The rollout will be gradual, as only one facility -- located in Sylacauga, Ala. -- is currently producing ice cream. That facility began producing in July.

The initial phase will be similar to how Blue Bell began and will include the Brenham, Houston and Austin areas.

Poll: Would You Travel To Buy Blue Bell Ice Cream?

"Over the past several months we have been working to make our facilities even better, and to ensure that everything we produce is safe, wholesome and of the highest quality for you to enjoy," said Ricky Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing for Blue Bell.  "This is an exciting time for us as we are back to doing what we love…making ice cream!"

The company is still performing facility and process upgrades at the Brenham, Texas, and Broken Arrow, Okla. plants.

Based on product availability, the company will then proceed with selling ice cream at additional locations according to the provided phases:

  • Phase Two:  North central Texas and southern Oklahoma
  • Phase Three:  Southwest Texas and central Oklahoma
  • Phase Four:  The majority of Texas and southern Louisiana.
  • Phase Five:  Complete  the states of Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas and begin distribution in Arkansas, Florida, northern Louisiana and Mississippi. This phase will also include only parts of the following states:  Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Interactive Map: Is Blue Bell Available In Your Area?

blue bell
Click For Larger Interactive Map from Blue Bell (credit Blue Bell Creameries)

Outside of phase one, no dates have been released.

Blue Bell shut down and recalled all products after listeria in its products was linked to three deaths. FDA documents reveal early evidence of problems dating all the way back to 2009.

Texas billionaire Sid Bass announced a $125 million partnership with the company in July to help keep the business alive. Since then, the company says it has made facility enhancements, ramped up testing procedures, and created consistent procedures to be utilized at all three facilities.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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