Blue Bell: We haven’t laid off anyone in 100 years and we won’t do it now

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Blue Bell Creameries

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Blue Bell Creameries hasn’t laid off anyone in the past 100 years. And it won’t happen now, even though the company is grappling with a massive recall that yanked every last Blue Bell ice cream container from store shelves.

Blue Bell has 4,000 employees and production has come to a standstill at its four facilities, including two in Texas, one in Oklahoma, and one in Alabama.

“In our entire history we’ve never had layoffs. It’s not happening now,” spokeswoman Jenny Van Dorf said.

The company sells its ice cream in 23 states and is a top brand in the South.

After weeks of gradual recalls, Blue Bell pulled all of its products from shelves Monday because of the potential that they could all be contaminated with Listeria. Three people have died and five others have fallen ill from the bacteria that may have come from Blue Bell products, health officials have said.

Blue Bell is the second largest brand in the country, according to And it’s the fourth largest manufacturer of ice cream behind Nestle (maker of Dryer’s and Edy’s) and Unilever (maker of Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s).

“We’re just trying to focus on the cleanup and making sure we have a safe product. It’s the right thing to do and it’s what we have to do so people will trust our product,” said Van Dorf.

She could not yet estimate how much the recall would cost, but said the company could start shipping to stores again in the next couple of weeks.

Blue Bell is privately held and has been run by the same family for about 100 years.