One of the most read stories reported on by the Food Safety News staff this year was about the Listeria outbreak linked to Florida-based Big Olaf ice cream. First reported in early July when there were 25 confirmed patients according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The pathogen was detected in patients in several other states.

One patient died and a pregnant woman miscarried after eating the ice cream. Of the 25 original patients, 24 required hospitalization. Illnesses were reported in 11 different states. Patients have been identified in Colorado with 1, Florida with 13, Georgia with 1, Illinois with 1, Kansas with 1, Nebraska with 1, Massachusetts with 2, Minnesota with 1, New Jersey with 1, New York with 2, and Pennsylvania with 1.

Other listeria-linked problems this year included the ongoing Blue Bell trial in Texas, and recalls at Royal Ice Cream, Kingdom Creamery and Greenwood Ice Cream. Food Safety News, recognizing the scope of the outbreaks and the need to identify better preventative production practices, asked EAS Consulting Group to develop a free webinar. The webinar is scheduled for Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. EDT. It will cover:

Current information and data on the outbreak;
FDA guidance for Ready-to-Eat foods;
 Listeria mitigation and control; and
Environmental monitoring best practices.

The webinar will be led by Dr. Kathy Knutson, a microbiologist and certified lead instructor for Preventive Controls for Qualified Individuals through the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance. She consults with companies in meeting FSMA requirements, including manufacturers in the cannabis industry as she educates on issues surrounding cannabis-infused food products for sale in states with medical and recreational use legislation. 
Dr. Knutson has a Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Minnesota and worked as a Food Safety Educator and Proficiency Program Coordinator with the Northland Laboratories.

To register for this free webinar, click here: