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.