Listeria Outbreak Is Linked to Ice Cream, C.D.C. Says
A listeria outbreak blamed for the death of one person and the hospitalization of 22 people across 10 states has been linked to ice cream made in Florida, the federal authorities said on Saturday.
Big Olaf Creamery, a family-owned company in Sarasota, Fla., exclusively sells ice cream in Florida, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Of those hospitalized, 10 people lived out of state and had visited Florida in the previous month, the C.D.C. said.
The infections tied to Big Olaf ice cream products occurred over the last six months and affected people less than a year old to 92 years old, the C.D.C. said. Five became ill during pregnancy, with one experiencing a fetal loss.
Of 17 people interviewed by the C.D.C., 14 said they had consumed ice cream. Six people reported eating ice cream made by Big Olaf or having ice cream at a location where the brand might have been supplied.
Big Olaf’s ice cream is made by Amish craftsmen at a creamery near Pinecraft, which is a neighborhood in Sarasota, according to the company’s website.
Big Olaf began contacting retail locations on Friday to recommend against selling the product, said the C.D.C., which advised customers to discard any remaining products from the brand. A full recall has not been issued.
Big Olaf Creamery representatives were not immediately available for comment on Sunday.
Listeria bacteria causes an illness that can be fatal. 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 C.D.C. said. Severe cases can take months to develop, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
Past listeria outbreaks have been connected to unpasteurized milks and ice cream, undercooked poultry, and raw vegetables, according to the F.D.A. Older adults, pregnant women and newborns, and people with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to becoming ill.
About one in five people with listeriosis die, according to the C.D.C. The infection is especially dangerous during pregnancy, causing fetal loss in about 20 percent of cases.
The number of people affected by Listeria outbreaks generally is higher than reported, the C.D.C. said.