According to an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ice cream products from Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, Florida, are mostly responsible for a multistate listeria outbreak in the United States.
According to the US CDC, one person has died and 22 people have been hospitalized since the listeria outbreak started in January 2021. Over a dozen of the listeria cases had been reported in Florida, and eight other people had travelled to Florida before they got sick from the disease.
According to the US CDC, listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that infects people through contaminated food, and is rare but can cause serious infections. Around 95 percent of people with listeriosis, the disease the bacteria cause, require hospitalizations. The fatality rate of the disease is around 20 percent.
This bacteria poses the biggest threat to newborns, pregnant people, older people, and people with weakened immune systems. Keith Schneider, a food safety professor at the University of Florida, said when they have a listeria outbreak, they have a very high concern because the ramifications are very serious. While they do not have a lot of cases, the ones they do have tend to be very serious.
At least 14 people in the listeria outbreak said they ate ice cream in the month before their illness started. According to the US CDC, six patients said they ate Big Olaf Creamery ice cream from the locations that might have carried the brand.