Listeria Outbreak Possibly Linked to Florida Creamery

Listeria Outbreak Possibly Linked to Florida Creamery

With the summer heat, many people turn to ice cream to satisfy their sweet cravings and cool off. Ice cream, beloved by young and old folks alike, is a staple in the American diet. This tasty treat is synonymous with joyful gratification and delight. But, an outbreak of Listeria may be linked to a Florida ice cream shop, Big Olaf Creamery.

Big Olaf Creamery

Residents and visitors of Florida may wonder if one creamery’s products are delicious desserts or frozen hazards. Big Olaf Creamery, founded in 1982, is a family-owned and operated ice cream establishment based in Sarasota, Florida. There are fifteen Big Olaf Creamery locations in Florida, and the company also offers direct delivery to most of the state. Big Olaf Creamery prides itself in its unique flavors handcrafted using classic techniques like batch freezers.

CDC Issues Ice Cream Warning

The CDC released a statement urging people to throw out any Big Olaf brand ice cream they may have. This warning comes as a result of a Listeria outbreak. Consumers should clean any areas, containers, or utensils that came in contact with Big Olaf ice cream products. Also, the warning said that Big Olaf Creamery is advising businesses to stop selling their ice cream until further notice.

The agency reported twenty-three people fell ill, and one died after eating Big Olaf ice cream. Twenty-two out of the twenty-three individuals who contracted listeriosis were hospitalized. Reports of Listeria tied to Big Olaf Creamery began as early as January, with some cases reported as recently as June.

What is Listeria?

Listeria is a bacteria found in soil, groundwater, rotting vegetation, and animal feces. It can contaminate nearly any improperly handled food. This germ is tricky to identify since it will not change the smell or flavor of the infected food. When people eat foods contaminated with Listeria they can develop listeriosis. This foodborne illness primarily affects pregnant women, older people, and people with weakened immune systems.

Listeriosis Injuries

Listeriosis is a serious disease that can even spread to the brain and bloodstream. People with listeriosis usually experience symptoms in one to four weeks. But, some people report symptoms as early as the same day or as late as seventy days later.

People with listeriosis may suffer:

● Headache
● Stiff neck
● Loss of balance
● Convulsions
● Muscle aches
● Fever
● Chills
● Diahrrea
● Death

Listeriosis may manifest differently in pregnant women. Listeria can even spread to the baby through the placenta. Pregnant women may experience:

● Fever
● Fatigue
● Muscle aches
● Miscarriage
● Stillbirth
● Premature birth

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any listeriosis symptoms.

Big Olaf Creamy Lawsuits

The estate of an Illinois woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Florida against Big Olaf Creamery on July 5, 2022. The family alleges that the woman died after eating Big Olaf ice cream. 79-year old Mary Billman ate ice cream at a Big Olaf Creamery location on January 18, 2022. A week later, she experienced extreme stomach problems and a fever. On January 29, Billman died of brain swelling after the listeriosis infection spread from her spine into the brain.

On July 7, a Massachusetts woman who suffered a miscarriage after eating the ice cream filed a lawsuit against Big Olaf Creamery. She claims she attended a wedding in Florida that served Big Olaf ice cream. After eating the ice cream she contracted listeriosis which resulted in the loss of her baby.

Big Olaf Creamery Recall

In addition to the CDC’s involvement, the Florida Department of Health has stepped in to look into the company’s ice cream products. Initially, Big Olaf Creamy said that no concrete evidence proves its products caused the Listeria outbreak. But, on July 8, Big Olaf Creamy officially recalled and stopped the production of its ice cream products. This recall applies to all flavors, lots, codes, and expiration dates through 6/30/2022. All Big Olaf Creamery locations are temporarily closed while agencies continue to investigate the ice cream products.

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