Listeria Outbreak Linked To Florida Ice Cream Brand

Ice cream made in Florida could have been the culprit behind the recent Listeria outbreak across 10 states. 

Federal authorities said Saturday that the Listeria outbreak, which caused 22 people to be hospitalized and one person to die, could have been due to ice cream made in the Sunshine State. 

The infections were tied to Big Olaf Creamery, a family-owned frozen products company in Sarasota that exclusively sells ice cream in the state. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked the Listeria cases occurring over the last six months to the company’s ice cream products. 

“As a result of this investigation, Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, FL, is voluntarily contacting retail locations to recommend against selling their ice cream products. Consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should throw away any remaining product,” the CDC said in a release. 

On Friday, the U.S. CDC posted an investigation notice on its website, saying the multistate outbreak of Listeria has infected at least 23 people, most of them lived in or traveled to Florida about a month before getting sick. 

One of the patients reportedly died in Illinois. Five got sick during their pregnancy, resulting in one fetal loss. Around the time the notice was posted, the public health agency said the specific food item responsible for the outbreak was still not identified. 

Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a bacterial infection that presents flulike symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, and vomiting. Though non-invasive listeriosis (within the gut only) is usually self-limiting, the illness can also be fatal once the bacteria spreads to other body parts. 

Pregnant women and their newborns, people with weak immune systems and adults aged 65 and above are at a higher risk for severe listeriosis. Symptoms of the severe form of the disease typically appear within two weeks after eating contaminated food, per the CDC. 

As of press time, Big Olaf has yet to announce a recall of its products. 

When reached for comment, Big Olaf Creamery representatives did not immediately respond to The New York Times

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