Blue Bell ice cream fans, the wait might finally be over soon. After going through one of the most severe recalls in food history, Blue Bell Creameries has begun shipping ice cream again five months after pulling its products from shelves. In March, the company issued a voluntary recall of its frozen treats after several listeria cases were traced back to its products. It was Blue Bell's first recall in more than 100 years, but it would be just the first setback among many for the ice cream company. Given how long and arduous the road has been for Blue Bell this year, the announcement that it's resumed shipments deserves a hearty round of applause.
On Tuesday, Blue Bell posted the exciting news on social media, writing on its Facebook page:
Our trucks are on the road again... And yes, they are filled with Blue Bell Ice Cream! We'll let you know soon when and where you can find our products in stores.
There are several reasons why this news is cause for rejoicing. Firstly, Blue Bell fans have been deprived of the creamery's frozen treats for months now, and they're undoubtedly thrilled to be able to enjoy them again. Secondly, the company's comeback is somewhat of a major triumph, given everything they've gone through and survived this past year. Here's a timeline of Blue Bell's recall, which will likely go down as one of the biggest in history.
- March 13: The Centers For Disease Control announced a link between five cases of listeriosis in Kansas, three of which resulted in death, and Blue Bell's products. The company issues its first recall in 108 years.
- March 23: Blue Bell expands its recall to include its 3-ounce ice cream cups.
- April 3: Blue Bell suspends operations at its Broken Arrow plant in Oklahoma.
- April 6: Major retailers pull Blue Bell products from their shelves, including Sam's Club, Walmart, and Kroger.
- April 7: The CDC announces more outbreak cases, adding to the Kansas cases three cases in Texas, one in Arizona, and one in Oklahoma. Blue Bell expands its recall at the Broken Arrow plant.
- April 20: Blue Bell recalls all of its products made at all of its facilities.
- May 7: The FDA's report reveals that Blue Bell had found evidence of listeria in its Broken Arrow plant as far back as 2013, but did not suspend operations
- May 12: Blue Bell's contract with PR firm KGlobal ends and is not renewed.
- May 15: The company begins a massive round of layoffs and furloughs; 37 percent of its employees are laid off while 1,400 are furloughed.
- June 5: Evidence of listeria found in Blue Bell's Alabama plant.
- July 8: Blue Bell announces a test run of production at its Alabama plant.
- August 11: Blue Bell resumes shipment of its ice cream, and fans rejoice.
Image: Imelda/Flickr (1)