Brenham is standing behind Blue Bell.
The Washington County Chamber of Commerce sent out fliers to approximately 700 members offering support to Blue Bell employees, this after the creamery recalled all of its products from store shelves.
On Tuesday morning, company spokesman Joe Robertson said it would likely take two to three weeks before the ice cream treats made their way back into grocers.
“We’re working with the FDA and local health departments to determine how the listeria was introduced to our facilities,” company spokesman Joe Robertson tells KHOU 11 News. “We have also assembled a team of experts, microbiologists, and they’re increasing our testing, and we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
The company is advising consumers to discard any Blue Bell products they may have recently purchased or return them to a retailer for a full refund.
The company last month issued its first recall after ice cream contaminated with listeriosis was linked to three deaths at a Kansas hospital. Five others in Kansas and Texas were sickened with the disease.
The foodborne illness was tracked to a production line in Brenham, Texas, and later to a second line in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
The recall extends to retail outlets in 23 states and internationally.
The potential impact of the recall is tough for the community of Brenham to shake.
“If Blue Bell closes up the town would close up. That’s a sad statement but it’s basically true,” Dale Green, Brenham resident, said.
Green doesn’t work at Blue Bell; he’s a manager over at Max Donuts, but he’s wearing this hat to show his support.
“If anybody don’t stand behind Blue Bell in this town they’re stupid…simple as that,” Green added.
Despite the recall, businesses around town are displaying their solidarity for Blue Bell and it doesn’t stop there.
“If we can support them in any way…any small gesture…we could offer to babysit their kids or mow their lawn or bring them a treat definitely know we are here behind them,” Page Michel, Washington County Chamber of Commerce, said.
Blue Bell says is now making a limited amount of ice cream and frozen treats – all will be tested before they’re sent to stores.
That means it will be at least two to three weeks before you’ll be able to find Blue Bell and then maybe not your favorite flavor.
The company’s counting on loyal customers.
“Blue Bell has actually made Brenham, and now I think it’s our turn to support them,” Tootsie Fischer, a Brenham resident, said.