At least 171 Texans have fallen ill with Cyclospora since early June. Texas health department spokeswoman Christine Mann told Food Safety News investigators are still not sure if the Texas illnesses are connected to the 232 illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska that have been traced back to Taylor Farms salad served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster, both owned by Darden Restaurants.
According to a report on NBC Nightly News, a Texas woman has filed a lawsuit against Darden after allegedly falling ill from eating at Olive Garden. A spokesperson for Darden told NBC that its Texas restaurants use a different salad supplier than Taylor, which supplies to restaurants in Iowa, Nebraska and possibly other states.
Darden representatives have not responded to repeated inquiries from Food Safety News.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention most recently updated its outbreak case count on August 5. The case count by state is as follows:
Arkansas (2 cases), Connecticut (1), Florida (25), Georgia (4), Illinois (5), Iowa (148), Kansas (3), Louisiana (3), Minnesota (1), Missouri (2), Nebraska (84), New Jersey (1), New York (6), Ohio (1), Texas (171) and Wisconsin (12).
There is a high likelihood that many of the illnesses in states with small case counts were contracted during travel to other states.
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