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Deadly listeria outbreak traced back to Florida ice cream company

A deadly, multi-state listeria outbreak in Florida has been tied to Big Olaf Creamery, an ice cream brand sold only in that state.

“Consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should throw away any remaining product,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Saturday, adding that businesses that sell the company’s products should neither sell nor serve anything from Big Olaf.

The CDC noted that the Sarasota-based brand is “voluntarily contacting retail locations to recommend against selling their ice cream products until further notice.”

Any items or areas that the products may have touched should also be cleaned and disinfected, according to the agency.

As of July 2, the current outbreak has left one dead and sickened 23 people, including 22 who were hospitalized, across 10 states — Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — said the CDC, which is still investigating.

Symptoms differ for those who are pregnant — who, along with those who are immunocompromised or aged 65 and older, are the most at risk for severe disease — but can include fever, exhaustion, achy muscles, headache, convulsions and trouble balancing.

A listeria infection that occurs during pregnancy can result in any number of devastating scenarios, including miscarriage and stillbirth.

Symptoms can occur anywhere from the day of infection to up to 70 days later, though they typically start within two weeks of infection.

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