September 28, 2022

Two More Illnesses in Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak

Two more illnesses in the Big Olaf ice cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak brings the total to 25, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-four people have been hospitalized, one person has died, and there has been one fetal loss. And there is a genetic match between the ice cream samples and patient isolates.

Two More Illnesses in Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak

The case count by state is: Colorado (1), Florida (13), Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Kansas (1), Nebraska (1), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), and Pennsylvania (1). The patient age range is from less than one to 92 years. Illness onset dates range from January 24, 2021 to June 24, 2022.

It’s possible that this outbreak will keep growing, since it can take up to 70 days, or more than two months, between when a person eats a contaminated food and they get sick with this particular pathogen. Then it takes more time to see a doctor, get a diagnosis, and have that diagnosis reported to the government. Listeria monocytogenes is a reportable condition.

Public health officials are still interviewing people about the foods they ate before they got sick. Of the 21 people interviewed, all said they ate ice cream. Among 17 who remembered the details, 12 said they ate Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or remembered eating ice cream at locations that may have served that brand.

Eight patients were identified as part of three illness clusters in this outbreak. All three clusters were at retail locations that serve Big Olaf Creamery ice cream.

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Food Safety Attorney and Food Poisoning Bulletin Publisher Eric Hageman

Noted food safety attorney Eric Hageman, who has represented many clients in Listeria lawsuits against food producers and restaurants, said, “It’s sad that this outbreak continues to grow. No one should get sick just because they decided to buy ice cream or eat it at a restaurant.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services collated samples of ice cream and environmental samples from the production area at the Big Olaf Creamery facility in Sarasota, Florida. Whole genome sequencing was performed on these samples. The outbreak strain was identified in both the ice cream and the environmental samples.

The ice cream has been recalled. And a stop action has been issued, so the company is no longer producing product.

Symptoms of listeriosis can take up to 70 days to appear. People most at risk for serious complications from this infection include the elderly, anyone with a compromised immune system, the very young, and people with chronic health conditions. Symptoms include a stiff neck, high fever, severe headache, and muscle aches, often preceded by nausea and diarrhea. Pregnant women are also at high risk from this illness, and can suffer miscarriage and stillbirth, but their symptoms are milder and more similar to the flu.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a Listeria infection after eating Big Olaf Creamery ice cream, 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.

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