Prominent Texas businessman Sid Bass made a significant investment into Blue Bell Creameries to help ensure the ice cream manufacturer bring its products back to the market after a listeria contamination forced a nationwide recall and stoppage of all manufacturing.
“The additional capital will ensure the successful return of our ice cream to the market and our loyal customers,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and President. Now a partner with Blue Bell, Bass is a billionaire investor and philanthropist whose family built an oil fortune. Bass graduated from Yale University and Stanford Graduate School of Business before joining the family business founded by his great-uncle, Sid Richardson, and his father, Perry Richardson Bass.
“We are excited to be a part of the Blue Bell brand and family” commented Bass. “Blue Bell is the quality leader in the ice cream industry. We believe quality is the principle attribute that ensures the success, growth and longevity of a business.”
Blue Bell said last week the company plans to start test production at its Alabama Facility, but there was no word yet on when production would resume at the company’s two other facilities in Texas and Oklahoma. Last month, Blue Bell identified the possible source of Listeria at its Oklahoma plant as unprotected equipment stored in a room classified as non-sanitary. However, it was unable to pinpoint a single source of contamination at either its Alabama or Texas facility.
Texas-based Blue Bell issued a nationwide recall and stopped production at all its plants earlier this year after some of its ice cream products were linked to an outbreak of Listeriosis. Since the recall was initiated, Blue Bell has collected approximately 8 million gallons of ice cream and ice cream products. The voluntary recall included all Blue Bell ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen shakes. Blue Bell distributed the products to approximately 23 states in the US, including many in the South and Midwest.