Big Olaf Ice Cream Sickens 25 in Florida Listeria Outbreak


Marler Clark, the foodborne illness attorneys, represent a victim in this outbreak that died after consuming the Listeria tainted product.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are collecting different types of data to identify the food source of a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. This investigation revealed a link to Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, FL. On July 1. 2022, Big Olaf Creamery began to voluntarily contact their retail locations to recommend against selling ice cream products. Customers who have purchase product at Big Olaf Creamery should throw away any remaining product.

As of June 29, 2022, a total of 25 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 10 states. Of the 23 people with information, 20 sick people reported living in or traveling to Florida in the month before they got 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. Five people got sick during their pregnancy, and one illness resulted in a fetal loss. One death has been reported from Illinois.

Number of illnesses each month

Public health officials continue to interview people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 17 people interviewed, 14 (82%) reported eating ice cream. Among 13 people who remembered details about the type of ice cream they ate, six reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that might be part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak likely got sick from the same food.

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and unpasteurized (raw) milk products. Listeria is killed by heating, but contrary to many other bacteria it thrives in the cool temperatures such as those provided by refrigeration. Therefore Listeria may be found on ready-to-eat foods such as cheese, hot dogs, deli meats, or produce.

Symptoms of Listeria Infection

Listeria has an incubation period of 21-70 days, so a person with an infection may not realize it for sometime after eating a contaminated food. When symptoms develop they typically manifest themselves in the form of fever, muscle aches, and sometimes diarrhea or nausea.

A Listeria infection may spread to the nervous system which may cause headache, stiff neck, loss of balance, or convulsions. In some cases Listeria may infect the central nervous system causing meningitis and/or brain infection.

If a pregnant woman becomes infected, miscarriage, sillbirth, or infection of the newborn can occur.

What to do if you think you have Listeria

If you think you or someone you know has contracted a Listeria infection consult a doctor immediately.

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming contaminated food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, you can contact the Marler Clark attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The Marler Clark Listeria lawyers have unmatched Listeria litigation experience and are readily available to talk with you about your legal options regarding any damages or losses incurred as a result of your Listeria infection.

Marler Clark has represented countless Listeria victims and is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

Fill out the contact form or call toll-free at 800-884-9840. There is no cost to you.


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