Blue Bell kicks back to life after international product recall

July 23, 2015, 9:14 PM UTC
Blue Bell Creameries Recalls All Products After Listeria Contamination
OVERLAND PARK, KS - APRIL 21: Blue Bell Ice Cream is seen on shelves of an Overland Park grocery store prior to being removed on April 21, 2015 in Overland Park, Kansas. Blue Bell Creameries recalled all products following a Listeria contamination. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Photograph by Jamie Squire — Getty Images

Blue Bell’s fans seem to be very forgiving. Wednesday evening, Blue Bell Creameries announced it had “cranked up” its machines at one of its facilities for tests–the first sign of life from the ice-cream company after it recalled all of its products in April and threw away more than 8 million gallons of ice cream. Blue Bell devotees across the Southeast, where the ice cream company distributes, rejoiced across Twitter.

The Texas-based ice cream company opted to cease all production and issue an international recall after it was linked to the deaths of three people in Kansas. Days later, more than 200 people gathered in the town square of Brenham, Texas, Blue Bell’s hometown, for a prayer vigil. One reverend consoled the crowd, saying that the ice cream would surely return “stronger than ever,” according to a local FOX report. Another Texan, who bought two Blue Bell half-gallons before the recall, earned a local news report for continuing to eat the ice cream, rationing it by the teaspoon. Prominent Texan Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz, even took the time for a photo on National Ice Cream day to commemorate the ice cream, holding a sign that said, “GOD Bless Blue Bell.”

Blue Bell’s announcement that its Sylacauga, Alabama plant–one of four–was kicking back into gear was greeted by people across the Southeast with enthusiasm. In Sylacauga, the Chamber of Commerce plans to hold a city-wide celebration to welcome Blue Bell back. And Blue Bell lovers took to Twitter in earnest, retweeting Blue Bell’s good news more than 900 times and responding with heart-eyed emojis (😍😍😍) and exclamation points galore.

Blue Bell’s return comes after a surprise investment from Texan billionaire Sid Bass on July 14, less than a month after CEO Paul Kruse had warned that the brand could be gone from freezers forever. With that undisclosed amount, Blue Bell has started to resuscitate. The private company hasn’t said when its other three facilities, besides the Alabama plant that kicked into gear Wednesday, will be back on line, or when its product will be back in stores. Until then, its fans will be waiting, tweeting and praying.