Photo: VN Explorer
Big Olaf has been under fire for their ice cream products, which resulted in a listeria outbreak that has infected almost two dozen individuals in 10 states.
The incident has prompted that brand to withdraw all of its flavors and products this week, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA said it had cost two lives – an adult and a fetus – and 22 hospitalizations.
“Based on epidemiological information collected by CDC and the [Florida Department of Health], Big Olaf ice cream products are a likely source of illness in this outbreak,” the FDA stated, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the FDA, all “flavors, lots, codes, and expiration dates through 6/30/2022 are included in this recall.” However, it is recommended that consumers and retailers should junk the product, no matter the “best buy” or expiration date.
Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are the states where cases were reported.
The CDC encourages companies that sell ice cream to “clean and disinfect any areas and equipment that may have touched” the withdrawn products, “including ice cream scoops and other serving utensils.”
The Florida-based Big Olaf Creamery stopped production and distribution of its ice cream following the probe about the outbreak conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
In its recall announcement, the company said it is “cooperating fully with regulatory authorities to successfully return all suspected products and has requested retailers to stop sales and dispose of product.”
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Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota has numerous stores in Florida and distributes to retailers and restaurants all over the state. The brand also has one Ohio store.
“The results from product sampling taken from the Big Olaf production facility last week by [the department] found that 16 of the 17 flavors tested were positive for Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono),” said a spokesperson for the Florida agriculture agency, Erin Moffet.
The Big Olaf ice cream flavor where listeria was discovered in product samples, according to the Florida agency, are:
- Blueberry Cheesecake
- Butter Pecan
- Cherry Cordial
- Chocolate Chip
- Coconut Almond Joy
- Cookie Dough
- Cookies & Cream
- Kahlua Krunch
- Mint Chip
- Plantation Praline
- White Chocolate Raspberry
“With these results, FDACS is currently issuing formal stop sales on the 16 products where [Listeria] was found, which were previously part of a voluntary recall,” Moffet stated.
Moffet stated that the department is meeting with other state and federal agencies on the probe, which is underway.
Listeria can result in life-threatening and potentially fatal conditions for vulnerable populations, such as those who are young, immunosuppressed, and elderly. Short-term symptoms in healthy individuals are high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, the FDA said.
Listeria conditions can also lead to miscarriages and stillbirths.