A Florida-based company has been responsible for a deadly listeria outbreak that has sickened 25 people in nearly a dozen states and hospitalized almost all of them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC said the number of illnesses linked to Big Olaf Creamery ice cream products was likely to be higher as a result of the number of illnesses it has been linked to, as well as the number of illnesses linked to Big Olaf Creamery ice cream products to 25 from 22. 24 people have been hospitalized and one person has died. According to the CDC, of five people who got sick during their pregnancy, one person's illness resulted in a fetal loss.
After being informed of the outbreak on July 1, Big Olaf Creamery immediately ceased production and distribution of the ice cream product. On July 13th, the company issued a recall for all flavors and all of its ice cream products.
About the time the recall was announced, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported that nine of the 100 environmental samples collected had been positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
The agency had ordered Big Olaf to stop using processing equipment where the listeria monocytogenes were found, which shut down all operations even though the company had already done so.
The recall notice said that the affected products were sold at Big Olaf retailers in Florida, restaurants and senior homes, and one location in Fredericksburg, Ohio.
Big Olaf is cooperating fully with regulatory authorities to return all suspected products and has requested retailers to stop selling and dispose of products, the company said. Consumers who have purchased Big Olaf Ice Cream Products should not consume these products and dispose of them immediately. According to the recall notice, healthy consumers can suffer from symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, the notice read. It can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.