USA – Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Ice Cream (July 2022)

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria Monocytogenes in Florida-Based Big Olaf Ice Cream (July 2022) - CDC Case Count Map as of July 11, 2022


The FDA, along with CDC, is assisting the Florida Department of Health (FL DOH) and Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) in investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to ice cream supplied by Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida.

Based on epidemiological information collected by CDC and the FL DOH, Big Olaf ice cream products are a likely source of illness in this outbreak. A total of 23 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 10 states. 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. Twelve sick people are residents of Florida and nine reported traveling to Florida before getting sick.

FDA is concerned that retailers may still be selling Big Olaf ice cream products. Retailers should not sell or serve Big Olaf ice cream products and should throw them away. Consumers who may still have these products in their freezers should not eat or serve any Big Olaf ice cream products and should also throw the product away.

This is an ongoing investigation, and the firm has initiated a voluntary recall of its ice cream products. The FDA is continuing to work with the FL DOH and FDACS to investigate and will update this advisory should additional consumer safety information become available.


Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any Big Olaf ice cream products and should throw the product away, regardless of the “Best By” or expiration date.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms after eating Big Olaf ice cream products:

  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
  • People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers who purchased or received any Big Olaf ice cream products should throw the products away, follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

Case Counts

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
*Distribution has been confirmed for states listed, but product could have been distributed further, reaching additional states

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