State officials are warning consumers to not eat certain romaine lettuce because the Cyclospora parasite was found during sample testing.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is telling consumers to watch for coding “22RHDM2L” and a harvest date of “Mar10,” grown in Coachella, CA.
Public health officials report that routine testing found the parasite on Ocean Mist brand romaine hearts. The romaine hearts were sold mostly in the Twin Cities area and surrounding suburbs, but stores in Chisago City, North Branch, and Duluth also carried the product.
In the U.S., imported produce is a common source of cyclospora but it has been increasingly found in domestic fresh produce. Food safety experts say there’s no evidence that washing the produce will remove the parasite.
Anyone who has purchased the implicated romaine should discard it. No illnesses have been reported to date in relation to the Ocean Mist romaine hearts.
Anyone who has developed symptoms of Cyclospora infection, and has reason to believe they have been exposed to the parasite, should seek medical attention. Specific tests are required and antibiotics are used to fight the parasite.
Cyclospora infection can cause severe abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, body aches, and fatigue. Symptoms can develop between two and 14 days after exposure. Though symptoms can be severe enough to send people to the hospital, it’s rare for people to die from Cyclospora infections.
Cyclospora is a type of protozoa, which is a tiny, single-celled organism. It is transmitted when people somehow ingest contaminated feces, typically through contaminated food or water. It can be spread only through human waste, unlike E. coli and salmonella, which can also be spread from animal fecal matter.
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