Two new hospitalizations tied to Big Olaf ice cream reported, CDC says
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Two additional people have been hospitalized during the past month in connection with a lysteria outbreak traced to Big Olaf Creamery, officials say.
As of Aug. 2, a total of 25 people infected with listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 11 states. Thirteen sick people are Florida residents; 10 reported traveling to Florida before getting sick.
The ice cream was sold or served at Big Olaf retailers, restaurants and senior homes in Florida, and in one location in Fredericksburg, Ohio, the CDC said on its website. All flavors, lots, and expiration dates through June 30 of Big Olaf brand ice cream products were voluntarily recalled.
On July 13, state officials shut down all production of Big Olaf ice cream after nine environmental samples collected at its facility on Cattlemen Road in Sarasota tested positive for listeria.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from Jan 24, 2021, to June 24, 2022.
Sick people range in age from less than 1 to 92 years. Of 25 people reportedly ill, 24 have been hospitalized.
One woman has died. Her family has filed a lawsuit against the company.
The suit claims Mary Billman died days after her family says she had ice cream at Big Olaf Creamery’s Bahia Vista location.
A second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kristen Hopkins of Massachusetts. This suit claims Hopkins, who was pregnant at the time, ate Big Olaf ice cream at a wedding in Clearwater and became violently ill afterward, causing her to miscarry.
Big Olaf has released a single statement about the situation shortly after the lysteria was discovered:
“For now, it is only speculation as it is an ongoing investigation, our brand has not been confirmed to be linked to these cases, I am not sure why only Big Olaf is being mentioned and targeted. The original report we got from the Florida Department of Health on Friday July 1st, was that there are 23 cases reported, the first one reported was January 2022. 6 out of the 23 patients mentioned having consumed Big Olaf ice cream, but nothing has been proven. We have been cooperating with the Florida Department of Health, FDACS and the FDA as soon as we were informed about the situation. We have been transparent and have answered all their questions and provided them with all the information requested from us, as the health and well-being of the public is our first priority.”
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