Federal agencies help Florida investigate listeria outbreak linked to ice cream

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The Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are helping the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services investigate an outbreak of listeria linked to ice cream, the FDA announced Tuesday.

Big Olaf Creamery’s ice cream products are a likely source of illness during the outbreak, health officials have said.

According to the CDC, nearly all of the 23 people known to have been infected in the outbreak are living in or have traveled to Florida about a month before falling ill. One person from Illinois died and a pregnant woman lost her fetus, the CDC said. The first cases occurred in January of this year but continued until June, when two of the people fell ill, CDC officials said.

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Big Olaf Creamery’s ice cream is produced at a central facility in Sarasota and then distributed to Big Olaf Creamery stores and other retailers.

The company voluntarily contacted retail outlets to recommend that they not sell their ice cream products, the CDC said. Officials say consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should discard any leftover product and follow FDA safe handling and cleanup advice and exercise extra vigilance when cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces and containers that may have come into contact with them. products to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Listeria can survive refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

“The FDA is concerned that retailers are still selling Big Olaf ice cream products. Retailers should not sell or serve Big Olaf ice cream products and should discard them. Consumers who may still have these products in their freezers should not eat or serve Big Olaf ice cream products and should also discard the product,” the FDA emphasized Tuesday.

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Listeria is one of the most dangerous forms of food poisoning. Symptoms usually begin one to four weeks after eating contaminated food, but can start as early as the same day. It is a deadly bacteria that causes symptoms like fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. It can be treated with antibiotics, but it is especially dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved./Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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