Big Olaf Ice Cream Implicated in Listeria Outbreak
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Florida Department of Health, and public health and regulatory officials in various states are investigating an ongoing multistate Listeria outbreak connected with the consumption of Big Olaf brand ice cream products. The Big Olaf brand ice cream products that are believed to be connected to the current Listeria outbreak were produced at the Big Olaf Creamery establishment in Sarasota, Florida.
The connection between Big Olaf brand ice cream and the cases of Listeria infections have not yet been proven, however, the epidemiological data collected thus far strongly indicate that. Health officials are interviewing people who became sick with Listeria infection regarding the food that they ate in the month prior to becoming ill. Of the 17 people interviewed so far, 14 (82%) of them reported having eaten ice cream. Out of the 13 people who remember specific details regarding the type of ice cream they ate, 6 reported having consumed Big Olaf Creamery ice cream products or having eaten at an ice cream shop that may have used Big Olaf ice cream products.
In the wake of the reported Listeria infections, Big Olaf Creamery is issuing notices to retail stores in Florida that distribute their products, directing them not to sell any of their products until further notice is given. In a recent statement concerning their joint investigation of the issue with state and federal health officials, Big Olaf Creamery said, “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.” According to the CDC the Listeria outbreak connected to Big Olaf ice cream products has caused 23 cases of Listeria infection, 22 hospitalizations, and 1 death.
Listeria infection poses a particular threat to pregnant women and their infants, to people over the age of 65, and anyone else with otherwise weakened immune systems. While pregnant women are more susceptible to contracting a Listeria infection, typically it is not dangerous for them, rather, the baby in their womb. In some cases Listeria infection can cause missacarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery of the child. The symptoms of Listeria infection include fever, fatigue, and muscle aches.
Anyone who has any Big Olaf brand ice cream products should throw them away and thoroughly disinfect any surfaces that it has come into contact with.
For the latest information concerning the investigation of the Listeria outbreak connected with Big Olaf ice cream, visit the CDC’s website.