Blue Bell Fires Up Production In Broken Arrow

Tuesday, September 1st 2015, 1:35 pm
By: Dee Duren

Blue Bell Ice Cream announced the Broken Arrow plant is back in business Tuesday. The announcement was made on the company's Twitter feed.

"We hope with this addition we will be able to better meet the overwhelming consumer demand we’ve had since our return," the company said in a follow-up Tweet.

The BA Chamber of Commerce held a news conference Monday to announce the welcome return of workers to the plant as the company geared up for test runs.

"We thank the community for being patient with Blue Bell. They're a very valuable part of the fabric of what is our community as well the product that they make is something that people really like and enjoy," said Wes Smithwick, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.

8/31/2015 Related Story: Broken Arrow Blue Bell Plant To Start Test Runs This Week

Blue Bell Ice Cream stopped production four months ago after some of the ice cream tested positive for listeria. The outbreak was linked to three deaths in Kansas.

The plant furloughed about 200 workers when the plant closed in April. Smithwick says more than half are already back at work.

Blue Bell will be testing every batch of ice cream for listeria before it is shipped over the next year, according to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. If a batch tests positive, the company is to notify the state.