Big Olaf Creamery Recalls Ice Cream Amid Listeria Investigation, Florida Department of Health Confirms

SARASota, Florida (WWSB) — Big Olaf Creamery has agreed to withdraw its ice cream products and halt production after a listeria outbreak was linked to the cream, according to the Florida Department of Health.

It comes shortly after the Centers for Disease Control issued a second warning to customers urging them to avoid Big Olaf products. Written by the alert, posted on July 8, the listeria outbreak killed one person and moved 22 others to Big Olaf Creamery during their ongoing investigation, so customers should throw away the products and disinfect anything they touch.

The CDC also expresses concern in warning that Big Olaf Creamery “could remain in people’s homes or available for sale in stores” because Big Olaf sells its products not only in its own stores, but through other companies across Florida .

Two lawsuits have been filed against the company since the CDC announced its first food safety warning on June 30 that claimed a woman was killed after contracting listeria from ice cream, and another miscarried her baby.

The first lawsuit was filed by the family of Mary Bellman, who died days after her family said she ate ice cream at the Bahia Vista location in Big Olaf Creamery. The second lawsuit was filed by attorney Ryan Osterholm on behalf of Kristen Hopkins. Hopkins ate Big Olaf’s ice cream at a wedding in Clearwater and became seriously ill afterwards. The lawsuit alleges that listeria caused her child to miscarry.

Details of the ongoing CDC investigation included in the alert note recall six patients who ate Big Olaf’s ice cream, or ate ice cream at locations that may have been provided by Sarasota Cream. Eighteen of these patients were interviewed by the CDC, and ten of them claimed that they had recently eaten Big Olaf ice cream, or had eaten ice cream from a place Sarasota Creamery could provide. The alert states that an investigation is underway, but does not mention any food products other than those from Big Olaf.

Details can be found on the CDC website.

Big Olaf issued one statement about the situation last week prior to the recall:

“At the moment, this is just speculation because it is an ongoing investigation, and our brand has not been confirmed to be associated with these cases, and I am not sure why Big Olaf was mentioned and only targeted. The original report we got from the Florida Department of Health on Friday, July 1, is That there are 23 reported cases, the first reported case was in January 2022. 6 out of the 23 patients said they ate Big Olaf ice cream, but nothing happened. It was proven. We cooperated with the Florida Department of Health, FDACS and FDA as soon as we were informed We have been transparent, answered all their questions and provided them with all the information required of us, as the health and well-being of the public is our number one priority.

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