U.S – The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has implicated ice cream dealer Big Olaf Creamery, in a deadly Listeria monocytogenes infections outbreak that has traversed 10 states.
The CDC revealed that they had confirmed 23 cases of infection as of June 30th.Unfortunately one of the patients succumbed and another who was expectant suffered a miscarriage.
It said at least six people who’ve contracted the infection reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or at locations that may have supplied them. However, it’s still part of an ongoing investigation.
Whole genome sequencing has also shown that bacteria from the sick people’s samples are closely related genetically, indicating that people in this outbreak likely got sick from the same food.
Big Olaf Creamery is reportedly contacting retail locations to stop selling their ice cream products until further notice, as a result of the ongoing investigation.
Company officer David Peachey said stores are independently owned, therefore the manufacturer cannot force them to shut down unless there is definitive proof the outbreak is linked to them.
Peachey said he’s confident in their product’s safety since manufacturers have followed the same health guidelines and complete with routine inspections. However, more health inspections will take place to confirm the possible link.
Consumers who have the implicated ice cream brand in their homes have been advised to discard any remaining product.
Big Olaf Creamery is a family owned and operated business that has been in existence for 25 years. As a way of upholding the Florida tradition, the creamery handmakes all of its ice cream in batch freezers.
When a person consumes food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, they are prone to suffer from a serious infection known as Listeriosis.
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die.
The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.
Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Listeria infections in the 1990s were primarily linked to deli meats and hot dogs, says the CDC. Currently, Listeria outbreaks are often linked to dairy products and produce. Investigators have traced recent outbreaks to soft cheeses, celery, sprouts, cantaloupe, and ice cream.