Blue Bell resuming ice cream sales in Louisiana, Mississippi

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BRENHAM, Texas — Blue Bell ice cream will be available in Louisiana and Jackson, Mississippi, on Dec. 21 after listeria contamination halted sales and prompted cleanup of production plants.

Blue Bell on Tuesday also announced the return of 115 workers put on paid furlough after the April voluntary recall of all products. The company will have about 1,000 employees, including at plants in Alabama and Oklahoma now supplying consumers in those states, plus Texas.

The company this month resumed production in its hometown of Brenham, 70 miles northwest of Houston. Sales from that plant have not yet resumed amid continued regulatory scrutiny.

Blue Bell was linked to 10 listeria cases, including three deaths in Kansas. Listeria bacteria can cause serious illness, especially in older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

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