Blue Bell ice cream returning to Louisiana just in time for Christmas _lowres

FILE - In this April 10, 2015, file photo, Blue Bell delivery trucks are parked at the creamery's location in Kansas City, Kan. Blue Bell can resume production and sale of ice cream manufactured at its Alabama plant, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced Wednesday, Aug. 5. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Blue Bell ice cream will be available in Louisiana on Dec. 21 after listeria contamination halted sales and prompted cleanup of production plants.

The ice cream also will be back for sale in Jackson, Mississippi.

Blue Bell on Tuesday also announced the return of 115 workers put on paid furlough after the April voluntary recall of all products. The company will have about 1,000 employees, including at plants in Alabama and Oklahoma now supplying consumers in those states, plus Texas.

The company this month resumed production in its hometown of Brenham, 70 miles northwest of Houston. Sales from that plant have not yet resumed amid continued regulatory scrutiny.

Blue Bell was linked to 10 listeria cases, including three deaths in Kansas. Listeria bacteria can cause serious illness, especially in older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.