Consumers in the Houston area will be able to scream for ice cream once again. Blue Bell Creameries’ ice cream is now available at local retail markets on Monday, August 31.
However, Shasta’s Cones and More won’t begin selling the Blue Bell pints until September and larger ice cream cans in January.
Shasta’s has been serving Blue Bell ice cream since 2005 until April’s recall. Since then, they signed a contract with Ashby’s Starling Ice Cream. However, for some students it does not come close to Blue Bell’s ice cream.
“I’m super excited. This ice cream is okay but Blue Bell is definitely way better,” said Joshua Garcia, a sophomore architecture who loves his share of Rocky Road ice cream. “I’m kind of concerned, but I’m willing to take a risk in some way or another.
“I’m definitely not too bugged about it. I think I’ll be okay with it.”
During its four month closure, Blue Bell Creameries has gone through a serious of decontamination, layoffs, restructuring. The public concern is in mind and will continue to be in mind as the Department of State Health Services makes continual checkups on the facilities.
Despite how clean the facilities have become, it is the trust of its consumers Blue Bell will have to focus on.
“Well although Blue Bell has always been my favorite ice cream, I wouldn’t (go back),” said Rocio Ventura, a former Blue Bell ice cream advocate. “I wouldn’t feel safe eating it again knowing what it has done to some people, and since it hasn’t been on the market for a few months, I’ve realized there are other ice creams that are just as good.”
Blue Bell’s recall leading to the closure of its factories, which nearly caused the company to go into bankruptcy. Now, the company is officially returning to selected areas. In April, its Listeria outbreak killed three individuals.
The production of Blue Bell is only being made in one of its facilities in Sylacauga, Alabama, therefore Monday’s distribution is limited.
For students like finance graduate Tilesh Patel, divulging in Blue Bell’s Classic Vanilla is something well missed and a risk willing to take.
“I’m not too concerned about the Listeria, I’m sure they (Blue Bell) cleaned up their factories. I’m looking forward to having it in my freezer,” Patel said. “Most food manufacturers have something wrong with their processes.
“I think Blue Bell just had a bad incident or two. (It was) on the news and I’m sure they addressed it. I’m not concerned about it.”
Now that stores have opened their freezer for the return of Blue Bell, many Houstonians like Patel have the chance to indulge in a pint of Blue Bell’s homemade vanilla, dutch chocolate, cookies ‘n cream and the great divide flavors.
— Additional reporting by Sonia Zuniga