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18-State Cyclospora Outbreak Spreads Parasite to 21 More Victims

FDA Says Taylor Has Stopped Shipments As Of Aug. 9

The nation’s Cyclospora outbreak peaked some time ago, but it keeps producing cases on its current plateau.  The latest count is up to at least 535 cases in 18 states, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. That is 21 more cases and an additional state since CDC’s report last week.

And after a week of waiting, the  production and shipment of salad mix, leafy greens and salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico to the United States was halted as of Aug. 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Monday.

By Aug. 2  FDA had informed CDC that the traceback investigation had concluded he prepackaged salad mix blamed by Iowa and Nebraska health officials for the outbreak in those states had come from Taylor Farms in Mexico.  But it took a full week until Aug. 9, that those shipments were stopped by the producer.

“To date only the salad mix has been implicated in the outbreak of cyclosporiasis in Iowa and Nebraska, ” FDA’s statement said.  “This voluntary action goes beyond the implicated salad mix and includes iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots.”

Taylor has promised not to resume shipments until FDA approves, which apparently pleased the agency.  “The action of Taylor Farms de Mexico exemplifies the company’s cooperation with federal and state officials throughout this ongoing, complicated investigation,” said FDA.

CDC’s Aug 12 report had a cutoff for inclusion of Aug. 9. The current distribution of the outbreak cases is as follows: Texas (215), Iowa (153), Nebraska (86), Florida (27), Wisconsin (10), Illinois (9), Arkansas (5), Georgia (5), Missouri (4), Kansas (3), Louisiana (3), New Jersey (2), Ohio (2), Virginia (2), Connecticut (1), Minnesota (1), New Hampshire (1), and New York (6).

A handful of the cases were likely acquired out of the states where they are reported. Most of the onset dates range from mid-june to mid-July and a total of 32 have required hospitalization, according to CDC.

While Iowa and Nebraska have concluded the source of the Cyclospora outbreak is those states is a salad mix produced from Mexican grown produce, CDC says it is continuing to work with the other states to determine if that product is responsible for the entire outbreak.

CDC continues to say it is not clear whether all 535 cases are part of the same outbreak or whether it is multiple outbreaks.

And additional cases are under investigation, the agency said. It said: “Cases in this outbreak are defined as laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infection in a person with onset of illness since June 2013 and no history of travel outside of the United States or Canada during the 14 days prior to onset of illness.”

Major purchasers from Taylor Farms in Mexico included the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurant chains.


© Food Safety News
  • SickinAL

    Add Alabama to the list. I live here and I got the cyclospora parasite. It’s bad. Really bad. I started feeling the symptoms Thursday, Aug 8th. Saturday, I got feverish and felt really bad. Feeling a little better over the last 3 days but i haven’t completely purged it yet. The only lettuce I suspect is that of Subway in North Al. Stay hydrated!

    • WorriedALMama

      My 3yr old daughter and my husband have both been very sick this past week. I had not heard anything about this until tonight! I live in North Alabama and I am almost positive they both have this. Have you been to a Dr yet?

    • Misss Delish

      um how do you treat a parasite with an antibacterial?? what antibiotic were you given???

  • Lady Dena

    Add Tennessee to the list! My mom got deathly sick on the 12th of Aug., Monday. They rushed her to the hospital in the ambulance! She started out by being severely dizzy where she couldn’t see straight or stand up..then she started projectile vomitting and had extremely severe shakes and sweating! They did all kinds of tests on her..in Dayton Tennessee. I don’t think they had heard of this lettuce outbreak yet..but she had eaten some lettuce prior to this. She’s also still not all the way better yet! Bad stuff!

    • How unfortunate. Tennessee is, in fact, the 20th state in the outbreak

  • Kim

    I got it and was treated with an antibiotic, so add Pennsylvania to the list. And I know 3 co-workers who got it as well.

    • blackgsd

      How did they diagnose this is what you had because I think I have it ,I live in PA also,

  • Devon

    I live in Ontario Canada and my doctor thinks I may have gotten this, as I eat a lot of pre-packaged salads from the grocery store. Started with cramps, and then diarrhea/constipation, and just generally feeling unwell. 4 weeks down the road it’s still going and I’m not sure what to do. Doctor just said wait it out, as there’s no real way to cure it.