Blue Bell Creameries has notified the FDA and state health officials in Alabama that it hopes to begin test production of ice cream at its Sylacauga facility in the next several weeks.
When production resumes at the Alabama plant, it will be on a limited basis as the company seeks to confirm that new procedures, facility enhancements and employee training have been effective. Ice cream produced will be closely monitored and tested. Upon completion of this trial period, Blue Bell will begin building inventory to return to the market.
There is no firm date for the test production to begin, and no firm date for when ice cream sales will resume.
“We have been working diligently to prepare our facilities to resume test production, and our focus throughout this process has been to ensure the public that when our products return to market, they are safe,” said Greg Bridges, VP of operations for Brenham, Texas-based Blue Bell. “We are very excited about taking these important first steps as part of the process of getting high-quality Blue Bell products back to consumers.”
Blue Bell recalled all its products earlier this year due to reports of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. It also ceased production at all of its facilities while implementing equipment/facility cleaning and employee training procedures.