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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Blue Bell Creameries says it’s going to start new, intensive cleaning and training procedures at all four of its plants, including the two in its hometown of Brenham, Texas.

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The company’s CEO and President Paul Kruse calls the new systems beginning Monday a “Paradigm shifting event at Blue Bell.” The move follows the company’s first total recall of all its products in its 108 year history.

As Blue Bell begins the new procedures, it will stop making ice cream, which it has been doing this week at its Brenham plant for the sole purpose of testing. Blue Bell says its employees will be trained on highly aggressive cleaning techniques, increased actions focused on sanitation and cleanliness, strengthening of standard operating procedures, and enhancements to its preventative maintenance program.

Dr. Daniel Howard, marketing professor at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, praises the company’s actions.

But Howard believes Blue Bell still needs to make sure its customers know about the recall. “They need to do it in greater frequency using a larger variety of media to make sure all people hear the message. Billboards, social media, a whole variety of different print, there’s a lot of different ways to go with this message.”

A Blue Bell spokesman acknowledges the company has not purchased any advertising.  A state health department spokeswoman says its agency is still working with the company on testing and other issues before it can distribute new ice cream.

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Blue Bell says its goal is to have some new products return to store shelves in the next two or three weeks.

At Pokey O’s Cookies & Ice Cream shop in Dallas, one of the owners, Kathy Oszustowicz, says she can’t wait until they can sell Blue Bell again. “Blue Bell ice cream is fantastic ice cream. I always knew it was, but in the last few days, I’ve ben trying to replace it and I can’t find anything that’s close.”

On Tuesday, the morning after the recall, Oszustowicz said a company representative came to pickup all 36 tubs of ice cream. “It was sad, I would say there was a tear in my eye as it went out the door. But before they left, I was sure to have my last scoop of Happy Tracks before they walked out the door. Cause it’s so good. It’s just so good.”

Oszustowicz isn’t the only one who feels that way. On social media, people say they’re still eating Blue Bell despite the recall. On our CBS 11 Facebook page, one person wrote, “I still have four cartons I’ve been eating on for as many months. Not sick yet.” Another said, “This half gallon is almost gone. Savoring it, then ugh.” Still another says, “Bought some last week. Not sick yet.” And finally, “I have a half gallon left and I’m going to enjoy every bite.”

Dr. Howard says the actions of ice cream lovers speak volumes about the Blue Bell brand. “It says there’s very high level of customer brand loyalty, they just love it.”

Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack

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