Blue Bell hometown gets nearly $1.4M federal jobs grant

Fans of Blue Bell Ice Cream were happy to show off the containers as they were the first in the area to purchase Blue Bell products Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, in Brenham, Texas. Blue Bell Creameries resumed selling its products at select locations Monday, four months after the Texas-based retailer halted sales due to listeria contamination. Blue Bell ice cream is now available at stores in the Houston and Austin areas, including in the company's hometown of Brenham, plus parts of Alabama. (Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle via AP)

BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — The Texas hometown of Blue Bell Creameries received a nearly $1.4 million federal grant the same day ice cream sales resumed after cleanup from listeria contamination.

Blue Bell products went back on the market Monday, in parts of Texas and Alabama, after four months of voluntary suspended sales.

The Brenham-based company recalled all items in April amid concerns over unsanitary conditions and contaminated products at some plants. Blue Bell faced federal and state health department scrutiny before resuming sales.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce were in Brenham to announce the grant to build a workforce and technical training center. The money goes to the Brenham Economic Development Foundation.

Blue Bell laid off hundreds of workers since April. Federal officials also cited downturns in the oil and gas industry.

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