May 28, 2023

Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak Joins List of Other Brands

The Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak joins a list of other brands that have caused illnesses over the past decade. The CDC has named Big Olaf ice cream in the new outbreak centered in Florida that has sickened at least 23 people. A recall has not been issued, but the company is contacting their customers to “recommend” against selling their products.

Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak Joins List of Other Brands

Big Olaf ice cream is only sold in Florida, where most of the ill persons live. And among the 82% of patients who ate ice cream before they got sick and were interviewed by government officials, six said they ate Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or ate at restaurants where that ice cream was served.

Over the years there have been dozens of recalls of ice cream for possible Listeria contamination. In fact, in 2019 the FDA improved ice cream production safety after a string of recalls for Listeria monocytogenes contamination. During an investigation that year, the FDA found Listeria monocytogenes in 19 of the 89 ice cream establishments, and in 65 of the 5,295 subsamples.

The other Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks that have been linked to ice cream include:

In 2014, a listeriosis outbreak linked to Snoqualmie ice cream sickened at least two people in the Seattle area. The Listeria strain from patient isolates matched the strain found at the company’s manufacturing facility and in the ice cream.

In 2015, a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak was linked to Blue Bell ice cream. Ten people in four states were sickened; all ten were hospitalized. Three people died. All Blue Bell products made in all of its facilities were recalled as a result of this outbreak.

In 2018, there wasn’t a technical outbreak which is defined as two or more unrelated people being ill, but one person allegedly got sick after consuming Working Cow ice cream. The FDA stated, “This recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following notification of a recent consumer case in Florida which has been linked to a strain of Listeria monocytogenes found to be present at the Working Cow manufacturing facility during environmental sampling in 2017.”

Ice cream, like all foods, can be contaminated through contaminated ingredients, during production, or while it is being packaged. If the pathogen is in the facility, it can be very difficult to eradicate through conventional cleaning methods. The pathogen can become established, which is why some outbreaks can last for years before detection. And because this product is eaten without a consumer “kill step,” any bacteria in the ice cream can cause illness.

Symptoms of listeriosis can take up to 70 days to appear. They include flu-like muscle aches, a high fever, and severe headache, often preceded by nausea and diarrhea. Pregnant women may think they have the flu, but this infection can cause stillbirth and miscarriage. If you have eaten Big Olaf Ice Cream and have been ill, see your doctor. You may be part of this Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a Salmonella infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores and food processors, and families in wrongful death cases

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