Blue Bell laying off more than 1,400 employees, including workers in KCK and Wichita

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HOUSTON (AP) — Blue Bell Creameries says it will lay off more than a third of its workforce following a series of listeria illnesses linked to its ice cream that prompted a total product recall.

The Texas company, whose production plants remain closed, released a statement Friday saying 750 full-time employees and 700 part-time workers are losing their jobs. That represents about 37 percent of the company's 3,900 employees.

The layoffs impact local workers. FOX 4 has confirmed between 30 and 50 will lose their jobs at a Kansas City, Kan., distribution center. Employees are also losing their jobs at a Wichita distribution center. Operations are suspended at both locations.

Spokeswoman Jenny Van Dorf says there are no immediate plans to reopen the center in KCK.

Blue Bell says another 1,400 workers will be furloughed, and employees essential to the ongoing clean-up and repair efforts will continue working but have their pay reduced.

The layoffs come after the company signed agreements on Thursday with health officials in Texas and Oklahoma detailing steps the company will follow to resume production.