Florida officials say 16 of 17 ice cream samples from a production facility tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, leading to an official order halting the sale from the state.
The facility produces ice cream for Big Olaf Creamery, which has been linked to an outbreak of listeria infection that has infected 23 people and killed one. An infected pregnant woman also miscarried.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) earlier this week issued a formal closure order for the manufacturing plant after 9 of the facility’s 100 samples and equipment tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Positive tests at the facility included one of a tube transferred from the premix to an ice cream machine.
Positive test results for ice cream samples were released on the evening of July 15. Documents from the state Department of Agriculture showed the samples were collected on July 9. Equipment testing samples were taken at the factory on July 7.
Please find a link here [dropbox.com] Results for product subsamples representing 16 flavors are positive. Distinguished Environmental Sample [dropbox.com] The previously indicated also came back positive, bringing the total positive environmental samples to 10. Click here [dropbox.com] for those results.
A Seattle food safety attorney representing the family of a woman who died after eating ice cream said he was shocked that 16 of 17 product samples tested positive for the deadly pathogen.
“What this shows is that this manufacturing facility had a serious problem of listeria, which is indicative of a sewage problem,” said attorney Bill Marler. “I was really shocked that there were no more patients. It may be because more people have not been tested.
“The biggest surprise is that the facility and stores have been open for at least a week after a problem was known. Why didn’t the company shut down? Why didn’t the state shut them down?”
The Florida Department of Health said food safety news Earlier this week, it was investigating an outbreak of listeria for more than a year.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the first person confirmed to be sick in the outbreak fell ill on January 24, 2021. The last newly confirmed patient fell ill on June 12, 2022. Twenty-two of the 23 victims had to be hospitalized. They range in age from 1 to 92 and live in 10 different states. Twelve victims live in Florida, and nine reported having traveled to Florida before falling ill.
“The true number of patients in an outbreak is likely to be higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to states with known diseases. In addition, recent diseases may not be reported yet as it typically takes 3 It takes 4 weeks to determine if a sick person has been part of the outbreak, according to the CDC.
It can take up to 70 days for symptoms of a Listeria infection to appear after exposure to the pathogen.
The Florida Department of Agriculture reported that the following flavors of Big Olaf ice cream tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes: Blueberry Cheesecake, Butter Pecan, Cherry Cordial, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Coconut, Coconut and Almond Joy, Cookie Dough, Cookies Cream, Kahlua Crunch, Mint Chips, Pistachio, Plantation Praline, Superman, Vanilla, Raspberry White Chocolate.
The company began withdrawing all of its products. On July 3, the owners of Big Olaf posted this statement on the company’s Facebook page:
“At the moment, this is just speculation since it is an ongoing investigation, our brand has not been confirmed to be associated with these cases, and I’m not sure why Big Olaf is mentioned and targeted only. The original report we got from the Florida Department of Health on Friday the 1st of July, is that there are 23 reported cases, and the first reported case was in January 2022. 6 out of the 23 patients reported having eaten Big Olaf ice cream, But nothing happened. proven. We cooperated with the Florida Department of Health, FDACS, and FDA as soon as we were informed of the situation. We have been transparent, answered all their questions and provided them with all the information requested of us, as the health and well-being of the public is our number one priority.“
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone who has eaten any Big Olaf ice cream and becomes ill should seek medical treatment immediately.
Investigation into the outbreak and situation at the plant is ongoing and includes state agencies as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
About Listeria infection
Foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled, but they can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has taken any of these creams and develops symptoms of a listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about possible exposure to listeria.
Also, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products should monitor themselves for symptoms over the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.
Symptoms of a Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headaches, and a stiff neck. Specific lab tests are required to diagnose Listeria infection, which can mimic other diseases.
Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients with weakened immune systems are especially at risk of developing serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may only experience mild flu-like symptoms, their infection can lead to premature birth, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.
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