Blue Bell Ice Cream returns to Virginia after 3-year absence

Three years after a public relations disaster rocked Blue Bell Ice Cream, the Texas-based creamery is expanding its territory back into Virginia, including several areas of Northern Virginia.

The company announced on March 25 that — along with the opening of two distribution plants in Ashland and Suffolk — fans of the brand in the commonwealth can expect to start seeing it return to grocery stores in several Virginia cities in the coming weeks.

In Northern Virginia, it will make its return to Fredericksburg, Manassas, Culpepper and Quantico, among others.

Blue Bell is sold at Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, independent stores and at military commissaries. The company has a locator to find where the ice cream is sold.

The brand disappeared from shelves in 2015 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked ice cream made in several of the company’s plants to a listeria outbreak that sent ten people to the hospital and killed three.

The ice cream maker has spent the last several years doing damage-control, recalling much of its ice cream from states where it could previously be found.

“We are glad to be back and excited to be in a position to expand our sales territory,” said Jimmy Lawhorn, vice president, sales and marketing for Blue Bell. “Our delivery trucks arrived a few weeks ago.”

A full list of the cities the ice cream will be sold can be found on Blue Bell’s website.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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