In a twist that really doesn’t come as a surprise, Blue Bell Creameries has decided to stop production at all four of its facilities. Blue Bell has two facilities in Texas, one facility in Oklahoma, and one facility in Alabama, with a combined total of 4,000 employees. The employees right now are not working as the plants have been shut down, but Blue Bell insists it will not layoff workers because it never has in the 100 years the company has been around.
The massive recall has literally meant all Blue Bell products are being pulled from store shelves from across the country, which is going to really harm the financial side of the company. Spokeswoman Jenny Van Dorf said “In our entire history we’ve never had layoffs. It’s not happening now.” While that is a nice thought to have, the massive product recalls over listeria fears is going to severely impact the company, and it is going to make it almost impossible not to go back on that word.
Blue Bell Creameries sells ice cream in 23 different states across America, with it being the most popular brand in the southern part of the country. The recalls have been coming in gradually over the past few months, but in recent weeks the amount of recalls has ramped up. This lead to the company pulling literally every product off of store shelves, since three people have died and at least five others have been sick from the listeria.
In terms of the company, Blue Bell Creameries is the second-largest brand in America, and it’s the fourth-largest ice cream manufacturer on the market. The goal now is to make sure that the production line and the facilities are free of any bacteria that could be linked back to listeria, since one facility already was found to have the bacteria and had to be closed a few months ago during sanitation. While it’s not known how long production will be halted, it is expected to take a couple of weeks, since the equipment and everything will need to be sanitized and decontaminated. The company likely will begin making and shipping products within the next few weeks, although no official word has been announced. Blue Bell Creameries has been run by the same family for nearly 100 years, so there is a lot of credibility and pride on the line with this recall, and that is likely why the company is so adamant about not laying off workers. Blue Bell is also a privately held company, which means that if this listeria outbreak does not get fixed and soon, it could spell doom for this once great company.