Blue Bell Creameries announced Monday it will once begin distributing ice cream to select markets starting August 31.
Blue Bell removed its products from store shelves in mid-April after they were linked to a Listeria outbreak.
In a video statement, the company's vice president for sales said the its ice cream products will return to market in five phases. He said the plan will mirror Blue Bell's original expansion.
Phase One will see the distribution of ice cream to select markets on August 31, 2015. The return to Oklahoma will happen in Phase Two, Three and Five.
Blue Bell Creameries says it has notified the FDA and state health officials in Alabama and Texas of its plan to re-enter select markets on a limited basis.
“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 first of the five phases will be similar to how Blue Bell began and include the Brenham, Houston and Austin, Texas, areas, as well as parts of Alabama, (Birmingham and Montgomery) where the product is being made.
The next phases include:
· 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.
Blue Bell will move on to each phase based on product availability and when it can properly service the customers in an area.
No dates have been set for Phases Two, Three, Four and Five.
The company says the Blue Bell production facility in Alabama began producing ice cream in late July. Factories in Brenham, Texas, and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma are still undergoing facility and production process upgrades similar to those made at the Alabama plant.
For more information on the company's progress visit BlueBell.com.