Blue Bell Ice Cream goes on sale in Huntsville Monday, Jan. 18
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Blue Bell Ice Cream is returning to stores in Huntsville and surrounding areas Monday, Jan. 18, according to company officials.
Flavors available Monday are: Buttered Pecan, Coffee, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla, Natural Vanilla Bean, Pistachio Almond and The Great Divide.
An addition mystery flavor will also be released Monday.
Blue Bell voluntary recalled all products in April 2015 after the treats were linked to 10 listeria cases, including three deaths in Kansas. The company faced intense regulatory scrutiny during cleanup and decontamination.
Blue Bell’s Sylacauga plant began test production in July. The company’s flagship plant in Brenham, Tx . began limited operations in Nov.
The ice cream company is the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for its handling of the ice cream contamination, according to CNN.
Prosecutors are examining whether company executives committed wrongdoing in their handling of the outbreak.
The origin of the strain was then unknown, but “the fact that it was the same strain over the last five years suggests it could have lurked somewhere in the factory the whole time,” Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, told CNN last April.
Listeriosis is a potentially fatal infection caused by the germ listeria, which is found in soil, water and some animals such as poultry and cattle, including raw milk. It’s especially dangerous because, unlike many other germs, it can grow in the cold temperature of a refrigerator or a food processing plant.
The CDC says older adults, pregnant women, newborns and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk. Pregnant women present with fever, fatigue and body aches, but infection can lead to miscarriage and premature delivery, as well as life threatening problems in the newborn, including stillbirth.
In milder cases, symptoms can range from stiff neck and weakness to fever, vomiting and diarrhea. In older adults and those with compromised immune systems, those symptoms can develop into meningitis or a serious infection of the blood called septicemia.
The company has been reintroducing products since August 2015 in Oklahoma and Texas.
The Food and Drug Administration estimates that every year, 48 million people — one out of six Americans — suffer from food-borne illnesses. More than 128,000 people are hospitalized and about 3,000 die from infections the federal government says are largely preventable.
In September 2015, the CEO of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America, Stewart Parnell, was sentenced to 28 years for his role in covering up a 2008 salmonella outbreak that killed nine and infected another 714 people across 46 states. Prosecutors were able to prove that Parnell knew that he was selling salmonella-tainted peanut butter paste. The outbreak resulted in one of the largest food recalls in American history.