The firm will enter a bonus phase on January 11 which includes El Paso, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee.
Blue Bell products were linked to an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes last year which affected 10 people in four states and is believed to have been a contributing factor in three deaths .
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the company after the outbreak according to CBS News. We have contacted the agency to confirm this and are waiting for a response.
Ricky Dickson, VP of sales and marketing for Blue Bell, said: “We will begin filling stores on January 18, but due to the size of the area and the number of stores to be serviced, it will take additional time to deliver to all locations.
“Upon the completion of phase five, we will turn our attention to building inventory for the spring as well as adding additional products and flavors to our line-up. Even though we do not have a specific date, we plan to expand our sales territory whenever we are properly positioned to do so.”
From the week of January 18 middle and eastern Tennessee, the northern sections of Alabama and Georgia and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia and in the week of January 25, Florida, southern Georgia and the southern tip of South Carolina.
At the end of this phase all furloughed employees will have returned to work.
Blue Bell is producing Buttered Pecan, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla, Peppermint, Pistachio Almond and The Great Divide.