5 things to know about Blue Bell’s return


How we got here: Federal officials linked 10 listeria cases, including three deaths, to Blue Bell products. That prompted the recall of all Blue Bell products nationwide in April. Since then, Blue Bell has been unavailable — until this week, when Austin will be among the first areas to see the products return.

Where to find it: The focus initially is on retailers. H-E-B, Randalls, Wal-Mart and Walgreens are among the stores that have said they will have Blue Bell products in stock Monday. Most restaurants, such as Mighty Fine Burgers Fries & Shakes, said they’re not certain when they will be able to serve Blue Bell.

Which flavors will be available? Initially, only four: Homemade Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Cookies ’n Cream and Great Divide, which is half Homemade Vanilla and half Dutch Chocolate.

When will more flavors be available? That’s not clear. Blue Bell is operating only one of its four plants — in Sylacauga, Ala. — so production capacity is limited. When the company’s other plants come back online, Blue Bell will expand its distribution areas and add flavors.

Is it safe to eat? Blue Bell says it has retrained workers, deep-cleaned all its plants and made upgrades and repairs to equipment. The company also agreed to stepped-up safety measures, including trial production runs. Under a new “test and hold” policy, all ice cream will be held at Blue Bell facilities until it tests negative for listeria.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

LAKEFRONT PLAN Owner’s plan for Lake Austin site includes elevator tower, restaurant, marina: It’s an often photographed, picturesque spot synonymous with Austin itself: a scenic bluff that gives way to an expansive ridge with views of Lake Austin, the Pennybacker Bridge and the downtown skyline. Now imagine the pristine, wooded tract on...
Austin jobless rate at 2.8% in May, lowest for month since 1999
Austin jobless rate at 2.8% in May, lowest for month since 1999

The unemployment rate in the Austin metro area came in at 2.8 percent last month, its lowest level for May since the height of the dot-com boom nearly 20 years ago. The figure was unchanged from April but down slightly from 3 percent in May 2017, according to Texas Workforce Commission estimates released Friday. The 2.8 percent local jobless rate was...
Owner’s plan for Lake Austin site: elevator tower, restaurant, marina
Owner’s plan for Lake Austin site: elevator tower, restaurant, marina

It’s an often photographed, picturesque spot synonymous with Austin: a scenic bluff that gives way to an expansive ridge with views of Lake Austin, the Pennybacker Bridge and the downtown skyline. Now imagine the pristine, wooded tract on Shepherd Mountain with an array of development: an elevator ascending 180 feet from the lake to an upscale...
Big Ass Fans founder buys Lance Armstrong’s Austin home
Big Ass Fans founder buys Lance Armstrong’s Austin home

Carey Smith, founder of Big Ass Fans manufacturing company, is the new owner of  cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Windsor Road home,  which Smith and his wife, Nancy, will remodel and make their primary residence. The purchase price of the house, which Armstrong bought in 2013 in the Old Enfield neighborhood, was not disclosed. Most recently...
Austinites craft anti-litter campaign for Tenn. with Bones, Orakpo
Austinites craft anti-litter campaign for Tenn. with Bones, Orakpo

“Nobody Trashes Tennessee.” That’s the new anti-littering message from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, crafted right here in Austin by local ad agency EnviroMedia. Recently rolled out across Tennessee, the campaign includes a variety of ads featuring former Austin radio host Bobby Bones, whose nationally syndicated show...
More Stories