Listeria-free Blue Bell plant starts churning out ice cream

What is listeria?
What is listeria?

Blue Bell's Alabama plant is once again producing ice cream after getting the green light from state health officials.

The company recalled all of its ice cream and shut down all of its plants in April after the deadly listeria bacteria was found in some of its products.

But on Wednesday afternoon, its Alabama plant was "crankin' out ice cream and building inventory," the company said in a tweet.

Blue Bell has been producing and testing ice cream at the plant since July 8. Tests by both the state and the company "found no sample products that would not meet standards," said Jim McVay of the Alabama health department.

The ice cream maker is currently building up its inventory, but a spokeswoman says it does not yet have a date when the brand will return to store shelves.

blue bell ice cream shelf

The struggling 108-year-old company recently got a boost from Texas billionaire Sid Bass, who took a stake in Blue Bell after the listeria outbreak.

Listeria, the bacteria that halted Blue Bell's production, has been a big problem for the industry lately. In June, it shut down all of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream's 20-plus shops for a week.

Related: Blue Bell announces first layoffs in 108 years

Listeria is potentially life-threatening, and it is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, young children, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

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