FDA warns consumers over Listeria ice cream outbreak
The FDA has confirmed that an investigation into Big Olaf Creamery as a possible source of the outbreak is ongoing, and has warned consumers of the typical symptoms to look out for.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investigating a potential outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in the state of Florida, thought to be linked to ice cream.
The two federal health authorities are working with Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) to pin down the source of the outbreak before it spreads. Currently, the outbreak is thought to be linked to Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida.
In response to the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) and FDACS outbreak investigation, Big Olaf Creamery ceased production and distribution of ice cream products on 1 July 2022. The FDA has confirmed that Big Olaf Creamery is now working to voluntarily recall all flavours and all lots of Big Olaf brand ice cream products.
Big Olaf brand ice cream was sold in plastic pint size containers, plastic half-gallon containers, and plastic 2.5-gallon tubs. All flavours, lots, codes, and expiration dates until 30/6/2022 are included in this recall. The recalled product was sold at Big Olaf retailers in Florida as well as to consumers in restaurants and senior homes, and at one location in Fredericksburg, Ohio.
The US has suffered Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks fairly recently in salad products, and the consequences can be severe. The FDA has reminded consumers that Listeria infections can be very serious, particularly for vulnerable people and pregnant people. Though pregnant people might only experience symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle aches, the FDA warns that Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or even stillbirth. Other tell-tale symptoms to look out for everybody are a stiff neck, loss of balance, convulsions, in addition to the usual muscle aches and fatigue.
The FDA has expressed concern that retailers may still be selling recalled Big Olaf ice cream products. Consumers, restaurants, and retailers who purchased or received any recalled Big Olaf ice cream products should throw the products away, follow the FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitising any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.
More information on the recall is available on the FDA’s website.