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.