However, it is too late for at least 23, and given the incubation period from three to 70 days, more illnesses may surface.
Total Illnesses: 23, Hospitalizations: 22, Deaths: 1, Fetal Loss: 1, Last illness onset: 6/12/2022, States with Cases: CO (1), FL (12), GA (1), IL (1), KS (1), MA (2), MN (1), NJ (1), NY (2), PA (1), Product Distribution*: FL, OH *Distribution has been confirmed for states listed, but product could have been distributed further, reaching additional states
The Florida Department of Health, CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several other states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are collecting different types of data to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to ice cream.
No new illnesses have been reported since the initial announcement on June 30, 2022. As of July 8, 2022, a total of 23 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 10 states. Twelve sick people are residents of Florida and nine reported traveling to Florida before getting sick. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 24, 2021, through June 12, 2022.
Sick people range in age from less than 1 to 92 years, with a median age of 72, and 52% are male. Twenty-two people (96%) have been hospitalized. One death in a person who was not pregnant has been reported from Illinois. Five people got sick during their pregnancy, and one person’s illness resulted in a fetal loss.
The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.
Public health officials continue to interview people about the foods they ate before they got sick. Of the 18 people interviewed, all (100%) reported eating ice cream. Among 18 people who remembered details about the type of ice cream they ate, 10 reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery. Seven ill people were identified as part of three illness clusters in this outbreak. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating food from the same retail location before becoming ill. If several unrelated ill people ate food from the same retail location, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there. All three illness clusters were at retail locations that sell Big Olaf Creamery ice cream.
This investigation is ongoing to determine if any additional products are linked to illnesses.
CDC is concerned that Big Olaf Creamery ice cream could still be in people’s homes or available for sale in stores in Florida. CDC recommends people not eat, and restaurants and retailers not serve or sell Big Olaf Creamery ice cream. Consumers should throw away any remaining products they have at home.
From a FDACS press statement:
While the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) is still awaiting results from product sampling (which we hope to have in the coming days), we do have results from our environmental sampling at the Big Olaf processing facility. Of the 100 environmental samples collected, nine have come back positive for Listeria monocytogenes (I will note that there is one outstanding environmental sample that is taking longer to develop). With these results (attached), FDACS has issued a stop use order of the processing equipment where the Listeria monocytogenes was found. This will effectively shut down all operations at this processing facility, which had already been done voluntarily by the company.
Listeria: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as lettuce, polony, deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.
If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.