CDC says Listeria outbreak linked to Sarasota ice cream shop
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Big Olaf Ice Cream sells their products to Fantastic Fudge in Fernandina and Tedi’s Olde Tyme Ice Cream in St. Augustine, according to their website.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — 10 Tampa Bay contributed to this report

An ice cream brand based in Sarasota has been linked to a Listeria outbreak, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday.

People who have any Big Olaf Creamery products in their home are urged by the CDC to throw them away and clean any containers, serving utensils and areas that have possibly been in contact with the company’s ice cream. Businesses are also encouraged to do the same. 

Big Olaf sells ice cream to Fantastic Fudge in Fernandina Beach and Tedi’s Old Tyme Ice Cream, according to its website. If you have purchased ice cream at either of these shops recently, look out for symptoms and throw away any products you’ve purchased. 

Big Olaf Creamery is reportedly contacting retail locations to stop selling their ice cream products until further notice.

Listeria, also known as invasive listeriosis, “is most likely to sicken pregnant people and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older and people with weakened immune systems,” the CDC stated. 

Pregnant people with Listeria symptoms usually experience fatigue, muscle aches and fever. In some cases, the illness may also cause miscarriage, premature delivery, life-threatening infection of the newborn or stillbirth, the CDC says.

Those who are not pregnant may have a headache, stiff neck, loss of balance, convulsions and confusion in addition to muscle aches and fever if they contract Listeria. 

The CDC provided other facts about the illness below.

  • Symptoms of severe illness usually start within 2 weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria, but may start as early as the same day or as late as 70 days after.
  • Listeria can also cause common food poisoning symptoms, like diarrhea and fever. People who experience these symptoms usually recover without treatment.
  • There have been a total of 23 reported illnesses with 22 hospitalizations and one death.
  • Listeria has been found in 10 states across the country. 

Big Olaf Creamery only sells its ice cream in Florida and currently has seven stores of its own with three in Sarasota and one in Venice and Lakewood Ranch each.

It also supplies fifteen partner shops across the state. 

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