CDC Links Ice Cream Brand to Deadly Listeria Outbreak

The CDC's investigation is ongoing, but one brand in particular caught their attention
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2022 4:45 PM CDT
Deadly Listeria Outbreak Tied to Florida Ice Cream Brand
   (Getty - etienne voss)

The CDC has linked a deadly listeria outbreak to an ice cream company in Florida. Per the Wall Street Journal, the outbreak has killed one person and sickened at least 22 others. It dates back to early 2021; however, 16 of the cases occurred this year, including 10 since March. Through its investigation, the CDC determined that most of those sickened either lived in Florida or had been there before becoming ill. People in 10 other states were affected, including as far way as Minnesota, Colorado, New York, and Massachusetts. The person who died lived in Illinois; additionally, five pregnant women became ill, and one of those illnesses resulted in fetal loss.

Of the 17 people interviewed by the CDC, 14 recalled eating ice cream, and 6 of those said they had eaten Big Olaf Creamery brand, which is only sold in Florida shops, per US News. That was enough for the CDC to issue an alert telling consumers to throw away their Big Olaf and to clean all areas, containers, and utensils that may have come in contact with it. Likewise, retailers are advised not to sell it until further notice, and Sarasota-based Big Olaf is “voluntarily contacting retail locations” to make sure that happens, per ABC News.

The CDC says the listeria infection, or listeriosis, is caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle aches, and fever and can appear within days or up to 10 weeks later. It mainly affects adults over 65, newborns, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. As the CDC, FDA, and state agencies continue investigating, Big Olaf Creamery put out a Facebook post July 3 saying the link to its brand is "only speculation" and it's "not sure why only Big Olaf is being mentioned and targeted." The company also said it is cooperating fully with health officials. (More listeria stories.)

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