Ice Cream Brand Linked To Listeria Outbreak Responds To Inquiry

The ice cream company linked to the Listeria outbreak has responded to the inquiry. 

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked the Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, Florida, to a multistate Listeria outbreak, which started as far back as January 2021. 

The company released a statement via a Facebook post, saying that investigation is ongoing, and the "possible Listeria contamination" is only speculation for now.

"For now it is only speculation as it is an ongoing investigation, our brand has not been confirmed to be linked to these cases, I am not sure why only Big Olaf is being mentioned and targeted. The original report we got from the Florida Department of Health on Friday, July 1st, was that there are 23 cases reported, the first one reported was January 2021. [Six] out of the 23 patients mentioned having consumed Big Olaf ice cream, but nothing has been proven," the company wrote. 

"We have been cooperating with the Florida Department of Health, FDACS and the FDA as soon as we were informed about the situation. We have been transparent and have answered all their questions and provided them with all the information requested from us, as the health and well-being of the public is our first priority," Big Olaf continued. 

The CDC's investigation has already reported one fatality while 22 others got hospitalized. A dozen cases were reported in Florida, while the remaining eight were among people who traveled to the state the month before they got sick.

Though the infection by Listeria monocytogenes is considered rare, it can be fatal, especially when there is no medical intervention. Per the CDC, nearly 95% of people suffering from listeriosis require hospitalization. The disease also has a 20% fatality rate.

The bacteria also pose the biggest threat to people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, adults aged 65 years and over and even newborn babies.

“When we have a listeria outbreak, we have a very high concern because the ramifications are so serious. While we don’t have a lot of cases, the ones we do have tend to be serious,” said Keith Schneider, a food safety professor at the University of Florida.

At least 14 people in this recent outbreak have reported that they ate ice cream the month before catching the illness, with six saying that they either ate ice cream from Big Olaf Creamery or other locations in Florida that carried the brand.

The CDC has since confirmed that the company started telling stores to stop selling its ice cream on Friday.

Anyone from Florida who recently consumed any Big Olaf product is advised to contact their healthcare provider.

Join the Discussion