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Florida-based ice cream company linked to deadly listeria outbreak

July 4 (UPI) -- A listeria outbreak linked to a Florida-made ice cream brand has killed one person and hospitalized 22 others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Big Olaf Creamery is only sold in Florida, but has caused illnesses in 10 states. The Sarasota company has voluntarily recalled its products and contacted retail establishments that sell its products.

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The CDC encouraged consumers who have any Big Olaf Creamery products in their home to throw them out. The agency also suggested people thoroughly clean any items and surfaces that came into contact with the ice cream.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions, diarrhea and gastrointestinal symptoms. In pregnant women, the infection can cause early delivery or miscarriage.

A listeria outbreak linked to Texas-based Blue Bell ice cream in 2015 killed three people and resulted in a $19.35 million fine. Evaluations by the Food and Drug Administration in 2019 found that 21% of U.S. ice cream facilities tested positive for harmful pathogens, including listeria.

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