Florida's Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak Has Been Linked To 1 Death

22 hospitalizations and one death have been linked to a Listeria outbreak allegedly from Florida's Big Olaf Creamery ice cream brand. The CDC posted a notice about the health issue on Saturday and urged consumers to throw out any remaining products purchased from the Sarasota-based ice cream makers. The government agency also advised cleaning any containers, silverware, or areas that may have come in contact with the ice cream.

Of the 23 Listeria cases across the United States that have been linked to Big Olaf Creamery, all were reported by Florida residents or those who had visited Florida within a month of the infection. The investigation is still ongoing.

Listeria is a foodborne bacterial illness that can cause serious harm to pregnant people, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Most healthy individuals will be affected by flu-like symptoms, but the infection has been known to cause miscarriages or severe infections in babies.

Big Olaf Creamery calls the link speculation

The CDC reported that the ice cream maker has voluntarily contacted all of its retailers and advised them not to sell any of the products, but according to Sarasota, Florida's ABC7, Big Olaf Creamery is still operating while the investigation continues. A statement from Big Olaf (that was shared by ABC7) states that it plans to continue operating because no link between its products and the outbreak has been proven.

"For now, it is only speculation as it is an ongoing investigation, our brand has not been confirmed to be linked to these cases, I am not sure why only Big Olaf is being mentioned and targeted," read the statement. According to details shared by the CDC, six of the 17 affected persons that have been interviewed recalled eating Big Olaf ice cream.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of food poisoning — especially those who have traveled to Florida in the past month — should contact their health care provider if they're concerned they may have eaten the allegedly tainted ice cream. The Mayo Clinic explains it can take 30 days or more from exposure for symptoms to develop, with the CDC reporting cases where symptoms didn't begin until 70 days after exposure.