BRENHAM, Texas (KXAN) — Blue Bell said extensive maintenance projects at their manufacturing facilities could be coming in the weeks and months ahead. The potential work includes major floor repairs and ventilation system work as the company works to make improvements to their plants following a Listeria outbreak that caused Blue Bell to pull all of their products off store shelves.
The company said they are also testing individual pieces of equipment, the floor and other surfaces throughout their facilities as it looks for the source of the bacteria.
“Our manufacturing facilities, especially the two in Brenham, are large and complex, so we anticipate this process will take some time,” said Greg Bridges, vice president of operations for Blue Bell. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers and retailers as we work to get this right.”
Continuing Coverage: Blue Bell
On Monday, about 750 plant operations employees took part in a training session led by an microbiologist. Workers were taught specifically about “controlling the plant environment to prevent bacteria, including Listeria,” the company said. More training sessions will be conducted throughout the week.
Blue Bell temporarily shut down their four production facilities in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas last week for cleaning and worker training.
There is not an exact timetable for when Blue Bell ice cream products will return to the shelves, but the company previously said some stores may have it back in the next couple weeks. They admitted that was being “optimistic.”