Alabama Department of Public Health allows Blue Bell to restart ice cream production

Listeria outbreak forced Blue Bell to put brakes on production and sales of cream immediately in its plants in Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma. However, extensive and satisfactory clean-up efforts and product testing at the Alabama plant have pleased the Alabama Department of Public Health to give a green signal to the company to restart production and sales of the cream in the company’s Sylacauga, Ala. plant.

Jim McVay, director of health promotion and chronic disease for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said Blue Bell is free to produce anything they like from the Sylacauga plant as no contamination has been found there after rigorous checks.

“All testing, done by the health department and by the company, has been negative, meaning there is no contamination on any products. The testing is ongoing and they are to notify us if they come up with a positive test for anything”, he added.

McVay said the findings have prompted them to lift restrictions on the plant as nothing justified why they should not be allowed to produce and sell the cream.

Blue Bell reached an agreement with health officials, including health departments in Texas, Alabama and Oklahoma that a trial period will be in place before ice cream is sold to consumers.

A spokeswoman for the US Food and Drug Administration says that she has no idea about the agency’s oversight.

Blue Bell Creameries said that they don’t have any information to share at this time about when their products will return to market.