Blue Bell Peppermint ice cream returning to shelves

Blue Bell has added a holiday flavor to its lineup as the company's ice cream continues to return to stores across the southern United States.

Blue Bell said Monday that Peppermint ice cream will start appearing on store shelves this week so that customers could “celebrate the Christmas season.”

Blue Bell restarted distribution with Homemade Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, the Great Divide, Buttered Pecan and Cookies n’ Cream. Sales in North Texas of Blue Bell resumed on Nov. 2. Pistachio Almond ice cream started being made last week by the company.

Blue Bell announced in late November it has resumed limited operations at its flagship creamery in the Central Texas town of Brenham, seven months after shutting down production out of fear of listeria contamination. The output is being monitored and tested to confirm that new hygiene procedures, facility enhancements and employee training are working. No date has been set for the output from the plant about 70 miles northwest of Houston to go on sale.

Blue Bell voluntary recalled all products in April after the treats were linked to 10 listeria cases, including three deaths in Kansas.

The company faced intense regulatory scrutiny during cleanup and decontamination.

Seventy Brenham workers on paid furlough have returned to work, but laid-off workers haven't returned. Plants in Alabama and Oklahoma previously resumed production.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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