Florida Company Recalls Ice Cream Linked to Listeria Outbreak, FDA Says

A Florida business is recalling its ice cream amid an investigation into a listeria outbreak that has been blamed for the death of one person and the hospitalization of two dozen, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday.

The company, Big Olaf Creamery, a family-owned business in Sarasota, Fla., recalled all flavors of its ice cream with expiration dates through June 30 “because it has the potential to be contaminated” with listeria bacteria, the FDA said. Listeria causes an illness that can be fatal, especially among children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems, and an infection can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Big Olaf Creamery stopped producing and distributing its ice cream on July 1 after the Florida Department of Health told the company that it was investigating an outbreak tied to its products, the FDA said in a statement.

The ice cream is made by Amish craftsmen at a creamery in Pinecraft, a neighborhood in Sarasota. The products had been sold to retailers, restaurants and senior homes in Florida, and at one undisclosed location in Fredericksburg, Ohio, the FDA said.

“Big Olaf is fully cooperating with regulatory authorities to successfully return all suspected products and has requested retailers to stop sales and dispose of product,” the agency said in a statement. The FDA added that its investigation was continuing, and that other ice cream brands could also have caused infections.

Big Olaf Creamery did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment on Wednesday evening.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the company was tied to a listeria outbreak in 10 states. Of those hospitalized, 10 people lived out of state and had visited Florida in the previous month, the CDC said.

The people who were infected live in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, according to the CDC

Infections had occurred over the last six months and affected people less than a year old to 92 years old, the agency said. Five became ill during pregnancy, with one experiencing a fetal loss, the CDC said.

As of July 8, 23 people had been infected with the outbreak strain of listeria, according to the agency’s website. About 1,600 people contract listeriosis in the United States each year from contaminated food.

Infections can cause flulike symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea, which generally begin roughly two weeks after ingesting food laced with the bacteria, though the onset can vary, the CDC said. Severe cases can take months to develop, the Food and Drug Administration said.

About one in five people with listeriosis die, according to the CDC The infection is particularly dangerous during pregnancy, causing fetal loss in about 20 percent of cases.

Past outbreaks have been connected to undercooked poultry, raw vegetables and unpasteurized milks and ice cream, the FDA said.

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