Federal and state health investigators have linked the listeria outbreak in Florida at least in part to the ice cream business in Sarasota.
On Saturday evening, the CDC said Big Olaf Creamery was voluntarily reaching out to retail sites that use ice cream “to recommend that ice cream products not be sold.”
“Consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should discard any remaining product,” the CDC said on its website.
The Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, Public Health and regulatory officials in several other states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are collecting different types of data to investigate the multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes, the CDC said.
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The CDC reports that public health officials continue to interview people about the foods they ate in the month prior to their illness. Of the 17 people interviewed, 14 (82%) reported eating ice cream. Of the 13 people who recalled details about the type of ice cream they ate, six reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that may have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery.
“The products identified in this alert are part of an ongoing investigation,” the CDC said.
The CDC said Big Olaf Creamery began calling on Friday.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that one death and nearly two dozen hospitalizations were linked to the outbreak of the new, unidentified listeriosis.
Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea.
Listeria can be treated with antibiotics, but it is especially dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say all 23 people known to have been infected in the outbreak either lived in or traveled to Florida about a month before they became ill.
Listeria is one of the most serious forms of food poisoning, and 22 of those infected were hospitalized. One person from Illinois died and a pregnant woman lost her baby, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Listeria symptoms usually begin one to four weeks after eating the contaminated food, but they can begin as early as the same day.
CDC officials said the first cases occurred in January of this year, but continued into June, when two people fell ill.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.