State officials have ordered Big Olaf Creamery to stop use of processing equipment in a plant associated with a deadly outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections.

The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) is still waiting for results of product sampling, but the evidence of Listeria in the production plant is enough for the state to take action.

Twenty-three people have been infected with Listeria and one has died. One pregnant women suffered a miscarriage.

A spokesman with the Florida Department of Health told Food Safety News today that the agency has been investigating the outbreak for a year.

The agriculture and consumers services department took more than 100 samples at the manufacturing plant of Big Olaf Creamery and nine came back positive, including one from a transfer pipe from pre mix to an ice cream machine. 

“FDACS has issued a stop use order of the processing equipment where the Listeria monocytogenes was found. This will effectively shut down all operations at this processing facility, which had already been done voluntarily by the company,” according to a statement today from the department.

The department is still waiting for another sample to come back from the lab.

Officials from the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also involved in the outbreak investigation.

“Of the 18 people interviewed, all 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,” according to the FDA.

Owners of Big Olaf Creamery have consistently denied any connection between their products and the infections.

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