Mann Packing Co. Inc. has recalled dozens of fresh vegetable products sold by some retailers in the United States and Canada. Brands in the U.S. subject to recall include Del Monte, Trader Joe’s, Walmart Marketside, Kroger and HEB.

The recall is a response to notifications by the Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. To date, public health officials have not reported any illnesses associated with these products.

Mann Packing, with operations in Tallahassee, FL, and ownership based in Salinas, CA, issued a statement saying it recalled the products “out of an abundance of caution.”

Brands in the U.S. subject to recall include Del Monte, Walmart’s Marketside, HEB, Kroger

In Canada there have been three related recalls of freshcut vegetable products in recent days.

The recalled products have a “Best If Enjoyed By” date of October 11, 2019, to November 16, 2019. Consumers who believe that they are in possession of any of the products affected by this recall should dispose of the product in an appropriate waste container. Here’s the list.   The U.S. products are followed by those available in Canada.

Editor’s note originally posted Nov. 3: At this time, the credibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not to be trusted. Both agencies have shown a reckless disregard for the public’s right to know, and their reliability going forward remains suspect. For the next six weeks, Food Safety News will publish this note above on every story involving the FDA or CDC.

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Federal officials today confirmed reports out of Wisconsin and Minnesota about Salmonella infections connected to fresh vegetable trays from Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc.

Inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration are onsite at the Del Monte facility in Kankakee, IL, that produced the implicated trays of pre-cut vegetables and dip. Del Monte distributed the vegetable-dip trays to Kwik Trip convenience stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where at least three people and one person, respectively, have been confirmed with infections, according to the FDA’s announcement today.

“The FDA, CDC and state authorities from Wisconsin and Minnesota continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak and the distribution of products,” the FDA reported. 

“This outbreak is not related to the Cyclospora infections linked to Del Monte vegetable trays in 2018.”

Wisconsin authorities told federal officials the patients reported becoming ill between April 13 and April 27 this year. It can take four or more weeks for Salmonella infections to be reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of lag time between when a person becomes sick and when confirmed laboratory test results are reported to the federal agency.

The Kwik Trip company has removed the implicated vegetable trays, but Del Monte had not posted a product recall with the FDA as of this afternoon.

Officials in Wisconsin yesterday released information on the packaging of the suspected trays that consumers can use to determine whether they have any of the freshcut vegetables in their homes.

“The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is warning people not to eat the following products,” according to the FDA notice.

  • Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 6 oz.
  • Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 12 oz.

Information about Salmonella infections
Food that is contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten any of the suspect products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized. 

Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others.

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An investigation into an ongoing multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis in Minnesota and Wisconsin that is linked to consumption of certain Del Monte vegetable trays led to a public health warning today.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Minnesota Department of Health, and Wisconsin local health departments, working  with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), joined in warning the public about the Del Monte Vegetable Trays.

To date, the agencies reported that all ill patients associated with this outbreak, three in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota, have reported consuming a Del Monte vegetable tray purchased from a Wisconsin or Minnesota Kwik Trip location prior to their illness. 

Kwik Trip is cooperating with regulatory officials and has removed all Del Monte vegetable trays from their stores. These patients reported becoming ill between April 13 and April 27, 2019. It is possible additional illnesses will be reported due to the delay from when a person becomes ill to when it is reported to public health agencies.

The Del Monte vegetable trays associated with the investigation contain broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip. Del Monte vegetable trays may also have been distributed to other retailers in Wisconsin. Investigation for product distribution is ongoing. Consumers are advised to not eat the following products:

  • Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 6 oz.
  • Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 12 oz.

Salmonellosis is caused by consuming food or water contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, or by direct or indirect contact with fecal matter from infected people or animals. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pains, fever, and vomiting that lasts for several days.

Bloodstream infections are rare, but can be quite serious in young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Most people recover from salmonellosis on their own, but may require extra fluids to prevent dehydration. It is important to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them to prevent illness from Salmonella and other bacteria.

Anyone who  consumed a Del Monte Vegetable tray purchased at any retail location and are experiencing symptoms of salmonellosis, should contact a health care provider. Ill consumers in Wisconsin should also contact their local health department and ill Minnesotans should contact the Minnesota Department of Health.

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Del Monte Foods is recalling more than 64,000 cases of canned corn that was not properly processed, which can result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens that can lead to life-threatening illness if consumed.

The multinational corporation sent the recalled Fiesta Corn with Red & Green Peppers to “multiple distributors and retail locations in 25 states and 12 international locations,” according to the company’s recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration yesterday.

Although FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced in recent months that the agency would begin providing the public with lists of retailers who receive recalled food — as has been the policy at the USDA for several years — the Del Monte notice did not specify any retailers. The notice also did not include any information about if, or when, retailers will be named.

Del Monte’s notice says the “under-processing” deviations that occurred during the production of the canned corn “were part of the commercial sterilization process and could result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens, which could lead to life-threatening illness if consumed.” The recall notice also says “it is important to note that there have been no reports of illness associated with these products to date.”

One of the most common problems associated with under-processing of canned foods is the growth of bacteria, including Clostridium botulinum, which produce toxins that cause botulism poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With expiration dates in August and September 2021, there is concern that consumers may have the recalled corn in their homes.

Consumers can identify the recalled 15.25-ounce cans (432 grams) by looking for the UPC number 24000 02770 printed on the label and any of the following best-by dates, which are stamped on the bottom of the cans;

  • August 14, 2021
  • August 15, 2021
  • August 16, 2021
  • Sept 3, 2021
  • Sept 4, 2021
  • Sept 5, 2021
  • Sept 6, 2021
  • Sept 22, 2021
  • Sept 23, 2021

Del Monte shipped the corn to Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The company also sent the recalled canned corn to a dozen foreign countries: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, El Salvador, Haiti, Guyana, Uruguay, Aruba, Panama, Saint Lucia, Suriname.

“If consumers have any product with the indicated UPC code and ‘Best if Used By’ dates, they should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange,” according to Del Monte’s recall notice.  

Consumers with questions may contact the company by calling 800-779-7035.

According to information in the company’s recall notice, Del Monte Foods Inc. is one of the largest producers, distributors and marketers of branded food products for the U.S. retail market. Its brands include Del Monte, Contadina, College Inn, and S&W. Del Monte Foods is the U.S. subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Limited and is not affiliated with certain other Del Monte companies around the world, including Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.

Advice to consumers
While a variety of illnesses can result from eating under-processed canned food, one of the most dangerous is botulism poisoning. Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product and developed signs of botulism poisoning should immediately seek medical attention, according to information from the CDC. Untreated, botulism can paralyze the muscles needed for breathing, resulting in sudden death.

“In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food. However, symptoms can begin as soon as 6 hours after or up to 10 days later,” according to the CDC website.

The symptoms of botulism may include some of all of the following: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, a thick-feeling tongue, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. People with botulism may not show all of these symptoms at once.

These symptoms all result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin. If untreated, the disease may progress and symptoms may worsen to cause paralysis of certain muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms, legs, and the body from the neck to the pelvis area, also called the torso.

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The multistate outbreak of cyclosporiasis that was announced June 15 and was linked to Del Monte Fresh Produce Vegetable Trays appears to be over, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Cyclosporiasis is a disease caused by infection with the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, a pathogenic protozoan transmitted by feces or feces-contaminated food and water. Outbreaks have previously been traced to a variety of contaminated fresh fruits and vegetables.

What began with reports of 78 Cyclospora cayetanensis infections ends with confirmation of a total of 250 illnesses in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, with eight hospitalizations. The CDC has not seen a new illness since June 14. No deaths are associated with the outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it evaluated and reviewed the distribution and supplier information for each component of the recalled vegetable trays as part of the traceback investigation. FDA reported again that the investigation did not identify a single source or potential point of contamination for any of the items that comprised the recalled vegetable and dip trays. The agency has completed its investigation, according to its update yesterday afternoon.

It said ill people reported eating pre-packaged Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip. Most people reported buying the trays at Kwik Trip convenience stores.

On June 15, Del Monte Fresh Produce recalled 6 oz., 12 oz., and 28 oz. pre-packaged vegetable trays containing fresh broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, carrots and dill dip. Any recalled vegetable trays would now be expired.

Based on CDC’s epidemiological data, or traceback evidence, it was not possible to determine if an individual component of the vegetable trays was the likely vehicle of infection.

FDA evaluated and reviewed the distribution and supplier information for each component of the recalled vegetable trays as part of the traceback investigation.

Investigation Details

Epidemiologic evidence indicated that the pre-packaged Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays were the likely source of the infections.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate in the two weeks before they became ill. Ill people reported eating the pre-packaged Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays purchased in the Midwest.

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At least 400 people have been infected by Cyclospora parasites in two separate outbreaks associated with vegetable-dip trays from Del Monte and salads from McDonald’s.

There isn’t any evidence to indicate the two multi-state outbreaks are related, according to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The CDC reported this week that 163 people across 10 states have laboratory confirmed infections in the outbreak linked to salads from McDonald’s. The agency reported 237 people with confirmed infections in four states in the outbreak linked to pre-cut vegetable trays from Del Monte.

Victim counts are expected to continue to increase, partly because it can take up two weeks or longer for infected people to develop symptoms. There is also lag time of up to six weeks in cyclosporiasis cases between when a person is initially diagnosed and when lab-confirmation of their illnesses is reported to the CDC. 

Consequently, people who became sick after June 7 may not yet be included in the federal agency’s case count for either outbreak.

Although there is strong epidemiological evidence that the salads and vegetable trays are the source of the Cyclospora, FDA officials reported this week that they have not yet identified a specific ingredient in any of the products that is the source of the parasitic contamination.

In recent years there have been a number of outbreaks caused by Cyclospora parasites. Most have been traced to fresh produce that was not cooked before it was consumed.

Federal officials said they have not received any reports of confirmed deaths in either outbreak.  

McDonald’s salads
At least three people sickened in the outbreak associated with salads from McDonald’s had such severe symptoms they had to be hospitalized. The 163 victims have illness onset dates beginning on or after May 1 through July 10. 

The infected people range in age from 16 to 87 years old. Two-thirds of them are female, according to the CDC.

State health officials in 10 states have confirmed people with infections. However, the one sick person reported by Florida officials ate a McDonald’s salad from a restaurant in Kentucky.

“Anyone who consumed salads from McDonald’s in Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin could have been exposed to the pathogen,” according to the FDA’s investigation update.

“The FDA is working with McDonald’s to identify the common ingredients in the salads identified by those who became sick and to trace back those ingredients through the supply chain.”

The multi-national restaurant chain pulled “lettuce blends” from about 3,000 stores in 14 states, according to a statement on the corporate website. Of the 3,000 restaurants, at least one is located in the following states: Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri. 

Del Monte vegetable-dip trays
Of the 237 people with laboratory-confirmed infections in the outbreak associated with Del Monte pre-cut vegetable trays, seven have had symptoms so severe that they had to be hospitalized, according to the CDC.

Illness onset dates in the outbreak range from May 14 through June 13. The sick people are 13 to 79 years old. Fifty-three percent of the confirmed ill people are female.

“Most ill people reported buying pre-packaged Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip in the Midwest. Most people reported buying the trays at Kwik Trip convenience stores,” according to the CDC.

Del Monte recalled the implicated vegetable trays June 15. The multi-national company reported distributing the pre-cut, fresh vegetable products to Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, FoodMax Supermarket, and Peapod.

People with confirmed infections live in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Advice to consumers
Anyone who has eaten a McDonald’s salad or any items from the recalled Del Monte vegetable-dip trays and developed symptoms of cyclosporiasis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about their possible exposure to Cyclospora parasites.

Symptoms usually include diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted.

Some people who are infected with Cyclospora parasites do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times, making diagnosis difficult.

“The Cyclospora parasite needs time — days to weeks — after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person,” according to the FDA. “Therefore, it is unlikely that cyclosporiasis is passed directly from one person to another.”

Cyclospora parasites can contaminate foods or beverages, but in the United States they are most often found on fresh produce, according to federal officials.

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McDonald’s officials decided to pull salads from 3,000 of their U.S. restaurants while they work with federal and state investigators to find the specific source of Cyclospora parasites that have infected more than 100 people.

The outbreak of cyclosporiasis linked to the McDonald’s salads is not thought to be related to another ongoing outbreak of the parasitic infections associated with pre-cut vegetable and dip trays marketed under the Del Monte brand, according to federal officials. 

Investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in recent days that the implicated salads were pulled from McDonald’s restaurants in 14 states.

“Many ill people reported eating salads from McDonald’s restaurants located in the Midwest. People reported eating a variety of McDonald’s salads,” according to the CDC.

A statement from the multi-national fast food chain reported the states where the implicated salad was distributed as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“McDonald’s has been in contact with public health authorities from Iowa and Illinois about an increase in Cyclospora infections in those states,” according to the McDonald’s statement. “In addition, the CDC also has received reports of people who became sick in Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin who ate salads sold at McDonald’s locations in those states.

“… we voluntarily stopped selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier.”

As of Friday the CDC was reporting 61 confirmed infections from Cyclospora parasites in people across seven states — Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. However, Illinois officials have reported 90 confirmed cases in their state alone.

The discrepancy is not unusual, though, especially with Cyclospora. There can be up to six weeks lag time between when a person becomes ill from the parasite and when their confirmed lab tests are reported to federal officials. The CDC says Cyclospora illnesses that began after June 1 likely have not yet been added to the federal case count. 

Illnesses in the parasitic outbreak linked to the McDonald’s salads started on or after May 1. The most recent person known to have been infected became ill on July 10. The sick people range in age from 16 to 79 years old. Two  people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

To view the full sized graphic about the transmission and life cycle of Cyclospora parasites, please click on the image.

“If you have eaten a salad from a McDonald’s restaurant in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Wisconsin since mid-May — on or after May 14 — and you developed diarrhea, see a healthcare provider to be tested for Cyclospora infection and to be treated if you are sick,” the CDC advised consumers.

“Do not eat leftover salads from McDonald’s restaurants that were purchased in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Throw them away.”

The FDA reports it has not identified which salad ingredient could be the source of the microscopic Cyclospora parasite. The agency is working with McDonald’s officials to trace all of the salad ingredients back through the supply chain. 

“… multiple components of these salads are under consideration. The investigation is ongoing and the FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information,” according to the agency’s outbreak report.

Anyone who has eaten a McDonald’s salad in any of the 14 states where the salad blend was distributed and developed symptoms of cyclosporiasis should seek medical attention. Specific laboratory tests are needed to diagnose cyclosporiasis, which sometimes mimics symptoms of flu and other illnesses. 

It takes Cyclospora parasites days to weeks after being passed in a person’s bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that cyclosporiasis is passed directly from one person to another. It is commonly spread via fresh produce. Washing and rinsing food does not remove or kill the parasite, according to the CDC and FDA.

Some people infected with the parasite do not develop symptoms, but they can infect others.

“Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted,” according to the FDA notice on the outbreak.

“If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times.”

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Photo illustration

Lab tests have confirmed more than two dozen additional people who ate items from Del Monte pre-cut vegetable trays are infected with Cyclospora parasites. Overall, seven have been hospitalized.

The total as of July 5 stood at 212 infected people across four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A week earlier the CDC’s count was 185 cases. The week before that there were 144. In the initial outbreak announcement on June 15, there were 78 people  with confirmed parasitic infections.

The first person known to be infected became sick on May 14. The most recent victim became sick on June 13. However, illnesses that began after May 24  might not have been reported yet because of the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported, according to the CDC.

An update from the Food and Drug Administration on July 5 reported the agency has not yet determined which item(s) on the Del Monte vegetable and dip trays is the source of the Cyclospora parasites. Similarly, the CDC’s update did not reference a specific item from the trays, but it does appear to have strengthened its language regarding the outbreak.

In its June 15, 28 and 28 outbreak statements the CDC reported the victims were “people who reportedly consumed” pre-packaged Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip.

This week’s CDC update showed slightly stronger wording. It said 212 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection were reported in “people who consumed” food from the pre-packaged Del Monte trays. 

The sick people are spread across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. They range in age from 13 to 79 years old. 

On June 8, Del Monte recalled 6-ounce and 12-ounce vegetable trays from retail locations. On June 15 Del Monte recalled 28-ounce trays. All sizes had best-by dates of June 17 or earlier, so officials say there is little chance anyone still has any of the products. However, anyone who purchased these trays before the recall should immediately throw them away and clean and disinfect anything they came into contact with.

Del Monte reported to the FDA that the recalled products were distributed to: Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, FoodMax Supermarket and Peapod in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

“FDA has not identified which of the ingredients is the vehicle for this outbreak; each component of these vegetable trays is under consideration. FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information related to the vegetable trays; the investigation is ongoing,” according to the FDA’s update this week.

Anyone who ate anything from any of the recalled vegetable and dip trays and developed symptoms of Cyclospora infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors abut the potential exposure to the parasite. Specific lab tests are required to diagnose the infection, which has symptoms that can be confused with other illnesses.

The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about 1 week. Cyclospora infects the bowel and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms.

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To view the full sized graphic about the transmission and life cycle of Cyclospora parasites, please click on the image.

Public health officials have confirmed that dozens of more people have parasitic infections linked to trays of fresh, pre-cut vegetables that Del Monte Fresh Produce recalled in mid-June. 

The case count stands at 185, having increased by more than 100 since the outbreak was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on June 15. Seven people have been so sick that they had to be admitted to hospitals. 

Additional people are likely to be added to the CDC’s case count. It usually takes 2 to 14 days after a person ingests the Cyclospora parasite for symptoms to develop. Specialized lab tests are required to confirm cyclosporiasis. Lab results must be confirmed and then reported to state officials who send reports to the CDC.

“Illnesses that began after May 17 might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported,” according to the CDC’s outbreak update. The CDC’s initial outbreak report and both since then have reported that most of the infected people said they ate items from Del Monte fresh vegetable trays.

Del Monte has recalled 6-ounce, 12-ounce, and 28-ounce vegetable trays containing pre-cut fresh broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, carrots and dill dip. Recalled products were sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers. All of the recalled products had best-by dates of June 17 or before.

The multi-national produce company reported it distributed the recalled products to a number of retailers, including Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, FoodMax Supermarket, and Peapod. The CDC continues to urge consumers to check their homes for unused portions of the recalled products and to discard them immediately.

State and federal officials continue to investigate the outbreak, but they have not yet determined the source of the parasites.

“(The Food and Drug Administration) has not identified which of the ingredients is the vehicle for this outbreak; each component of these vegetable trays is under consideration. FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information related to the vegetable trays; the investigation is ongoing,” according to the FDA’s most recent update.

Anyone who has eaten anything contained on the recalled fresh vegetable trays and becomes ill should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about their possible exposure to the Cyclospora parasite. Specific tests are required to confirm infection.

The parasite infects the small intestine and typically causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, stools, according to the CDC. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal cramping/bloating, increased flatus, nausea, and prolonged fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. 

If untreated, the illness may last for a few days to a month or longer and may follow a remitting-relapsing course. The symptoms can be mistaken for flu or other viral infections. 

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New parasitic infections linked to Del Monte brand pre-cut fresh vegetables continue to be reported even though the multi-national company initiated a recall on June 8.

At least 144 people are confirmed to be infected by Cyclospora, a microscopic parasite, according to an outbreak update posted June 21 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

However, in Wisconsin, where the vast majority of the infected people live, public health officials report 149 confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis. In all of 2017 Wisconsin had only 23 laboratory confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection.

“Of people with completed interviews (in the current outbreak), 106 of 115 cases report consuming a Del Monte vegetable tray purchased at a Kwik Trip location in Wisconsin. Most ill persons reported purchasing the tray on or after May 16,” according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, which also posted an outbreak update June 21.

It isn’t unusual for there to be lag time between when state officials receive confirmed test results and when they are reported to the CDC, regardless of the foodborne pathogen involved.

“Illnesses that began after May 10 might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported,” according to the CDC outbreak update.

The CDC and state officials continue to warn consumers and retailers not to eat or sell anything on the recalled Del Monte vegetable trays, which containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip. The recalled products had various best-by dates, but the latest date was June 17.

Investigators from the Food and Drug Administration have not yet identified which of the ingredients in the vegetable trays is the vehicle for this outbreak. The agency is checking each component of the products. Also, FDA is reviewing distribution and supplier information related to the vegetable trays.

Washing or other cleaning processes may not be sufficient to eliminate the parasite from fresh produce or other raw foods, according to the FDA.

Kwik Trip and Kwik Star stores in five states sold the 6-ounce and 12-ounce Del Monte vegetable trays that are implicated in the outbreak. Those states are Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. Additionally, Del Monte recalled “small veggie trays” that were distributed to unidentified retailers in Illinois and Indiana. Those 28-ounce trays also includes broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery and dill dip.

In addition to the Kwik Trip and Kwik Star locations, Del Monte reported to the FDA that it also distributed the implicated vegetable trays to Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, FoodMax Supermarket and Peapod. 

Symptom onset for the cases included in the CDC’s tally as of June 21 ranged from May 14 through June 8. The victims range in age from 20 to 79 years old. Six people have been so sick they had to be admitted to hospitals. No deaths have been reported. Most of the sick people reported eating Del Monte brand pre-cut vegetables in pre-packaged trays, the CDC reported.

Advice to consumers
Anyone who has eaten any items from the recalled Del Monte vegetable and dip trays and developed symptoms of cyclosporiasis should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about their possible exposure to Cyclospora parasites.

Symptoms usually include diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted.

Some people who are infected with Cyclospora parasites do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times, making diagnosis difficult.

“The Cyclospora parasite needs time — days to weeks — after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person,” according to the FDA notice. “Therefore, it is unlikely that cyclosporiasis is passed directly from one person to another.”

Cyclospora parasites can contaminate foods or beverages, but in the United States they are most often found on fresh produce. A spike in U.S. cases has been recorded during the summer months in recent years among people who consumed fresh cilantro from Mexico.

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