The outbreak of Cyclospora in Iowa and Nebraska that has caused hundreds of confirmed illnesses has been linked to Mexican-grown Taylor Farms salad mix, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Some of the contaminated salad mix was served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants, according to the Des Moines Register. Other restaurants may also have used the salad mix.
It is not yet clear if concurrent Cyclospora outbreaks in other states are also connected to the Taylor Farms salad mix or the restaurant chains. At least 418 people across 16 states have been found ill with Cyclospora infection between early June and early July.
No grocery store products have yet been connected to the outbreak, as it is considered exclusively restaurant salad at this point.
Taylor Farms is cooperating with FDA investigators who are trying to determine the cause of the contamination at their facilities in Mexico. FDA said that as a result of this outbreak, “FDA is increasing its surveillance efforts on green leafy products exported to the U.S. from Mexico.”
Investigators believe the product has expired and is no longer on the market, and therefore does not pose a continued health threat.
According to internet searches, there are nine Olive Gardens in Iowa and four in Nebraska. There are eight Red Lobsters in Iowa and two in Nebraska.
Cyclospora is a single-celled parasite often associated with contaminated fresh produce. Symptoms can take several days or weeks to appear and include watery diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, nausea and stomach cramps.© Food Safety News