The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a formal food safety alert on Big Olaf Creamery ice cream products amid the Listeria outbreak affecting at least ten states.
The public health agency voiced concern over the ice cream products from the embattled company that could still be circulating in Florida stores in a press release issued Friday.
The CDC strongly advised people not to eat, serve, or sell Big Olaf ice cream products. The agency also said people who already bought the products and have them at home should throw them away.
The case count remains the same as on June 29, when the agency first took notice of the outbreak affecting at least ten states. Around 22 people got hospitalized due to the outbreak strain. One death was reported in Illinois.
According to the CDC, nearly all documented cases live in or traveled to Florida about a month before they got sick of the bacteria. Big Olaf Creamery is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and its ice cream products are sold in various local stores and shops.
Based on the map the CDC posted online, the Listeria cases were reported in the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
In its food safety alert, the agency indicated that the investigation into the outbreak was still active, and there was no recall despite the health issue. Hence, it urged those with Big Olaf ice cream products to dispose of them and clean and disinfect the areas and equipment that may have touched them, especially ice cream scoops and serving utensils.
Listeria can cause common food poisoning symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and muscle aches. Though the illness is mostly mild and self-limiting, an invasive type of listeriosis has been associated with a high fatality rate.
People with a higher risk for severe Listeria infection include pregnant women and newborns, people with weakened immune systems, and adults aged 65 and above.