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Amid Listeria outbreak, officials urge Floridians to throw out Sarasota ice cream brand

The company also is “voluntarily contacting retail locations” to recommend against selling its ice cream, health officials say.
One death and nearly two dozen hospitalizations are tied to a new listeria outbreak, health officials said Thursday. CDC officials say nearly all the 23 people known to have been infected in the outbreak either live in, or traveled to, Florida about a month before they got sick.
One death and nearly two dozen hospitalizations are tied to a new listeria outbreak, health officials said Thursday. CDC officials say nearly all the 23 people known to have been infected in the outbreak either live in, or traveled to, Florida about a month before they got sick. [ Image from CDC ]
Published Jun. 30|Updated Jul. 2

The Florida Department of Health is urging residents to throw out ice cream they purchased from Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota as officials investigate a multi-state Listeria outbreak.

The company also is “voluntarily contacting retail locations” to recommend against selling its ice cream until further notice, according to a statement from Department of Health spokesman Jeremy Redfern.

The state’s investigation is ongoing.

“Part of the investigation will be looking along the supply chain to Big Olaf Creamery,” Redfern said in an email.

The Sarasota creamery did not immediately return a phone message Saturday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday warned of the outbreak, which has been tied to one death and nearly two dozen hospitalizations.

The CDC said it had not identified a food that might be spreading the deadly bacteria, but officials said the public should be alert to symptoms and the possibility of infection. Those symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea.

CDC officials said nearly all of the 23 people known to have been infected in the outbreak either live in or traveled to Florida about a month before they got sick.

Listeria is one of the most dangerous forms of food poisoning, and 22 of the infected people have been hospitalized. One person from Illinois died and one pregnant woman lost her fetus, the CDC said.

Listeria symptoms usually start one to four weeks after eating contaminated food, but can start as soon as the same day.

The first cases occurred in January of this year, but they have continued through June when two of the people got sick, CDC officials said.

The Associated Press contributed information to this report.

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