Blue Bell starts test production at Broken Arrow plant

Blue Bell starts test production at Broken Arrow plant

BROKEN ARROW, Okla._Blue Bell Creameries announced Tuesday that production in Broken Arrow is starting back up.

"We are pleased to be producing ice cream in Broken Arrow," Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse said in a press release.  "We are humbled by the incredible customer loyalty we have seen, and we thank our customers for their continued patience as we work through the process of resuming production and getting back into stores."

Production will be limited while they seek to confirm that new procedures, enhancements to the facility and employee training have been effective. The will only release ice cream from the Broken Arrow plant after it has been tested and proven to be safe.

"We have been working diligently to prepare the Broken Arrow facility to resume production and, based on our experience at our Sylacauga, Ala., plant, we anticipate that our new procedures and enhancements will also be effective in Oklahoma," said Greg Bridges, vice president of operations for Blue Bell.

A firm date for ice cream from Broken Arrow has not been set.

The Blue Bell plant in Alabama started production in late July. After building up their inventory for several weeks, they began distributing their ice cream in Austin, Brenham and Houston, Texas, and in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, on August 31. The company's main plant in Brenham, Texas, is still undergoing upgrades.

"We are excited to begin producing ice cream in a second facility to better meet the demand of consumers," Bridges said, "and we are extremely grateful for the incredible patience and loyalty our customers have shown to Blue Bell."

The company voluntarily recalled its products in April after they were linked to 10 listeria cases in four states, including three deaths in Kansas.