Florida Company Recalls Ice Cream Over Listeria

Nearly two dozen people have been sickened.

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WASHINGTON — Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida, is recalling all flavors and all lots of Big Olaf brand ice cream products because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The product was sold at Big Olaf retailers in Florida as well as to consumers in restaurants and senior homes, and one location in Fredericksburg, Ohio.

The Big Olaf brand ice cream was sold to consumers in plastic pint size containers, plastic ½ gallon containers, and plastic 2.5-gallon tubs, scoopable are sold to the independent retail stores. All flavors, lots, codes, and all expiration dates through 6/30/2022 are included in this recall.

Based on epidemiological information shared by the CDC and State Officials, Big Olaf may be a potential source of illness in an ongoing Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.

On July 1, Big Olaf Creamery was informed of an outbreak investigation by the Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and immediately ceased production and distribution of the ice cream product.

As of July 8, the CDC reported that a total of 23 people were infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes from 10 states. Eighteen people interviewed reported eating ice cream, 10 reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery. This is an ongoing investigation and other ice cream brands not related to Big Olaf were mentioned as a possible source as well.

Big Olaf Creamery and all retailers supplied did not receive any complaints regarding product defect or sickness. No formal complaints were filed with the Florida Department of Health as of July 1.

Based on the information provided and upon the ongoing investigation, the company has ceased production and distribution of the ice cream product and is currently working with FDA by voluntarily recalling the product.

Big Olaf is cooperating fully with regulatory authorities to successfully return all suspected products and has requested retailers to stop sales and dispose of product. Consumers who have purchased Big Olaf Ice Cream Products should not consume these products and dispose of them immediately. Any areas, containers, and serving utensils that may have touched the ice cream should be cleaned.

Consumers that may have any questions about the recall may call 941-365-7483, Monday–Saturday from 8:00am–5:00 pm EST.

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