US Cyclospora outbreak linked to salad mix

| August 15, 2013

Salad 1 picA large multistate outbreak of infection by the protozoan parasite Cyclospora in the USA has now been linked to a salad mix produced in Mexico.

As of 13 August 548 cases of cyclosporiasis from 19 states had been notified to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least 34 people have been hospitalised, but it is not clear that all the cases belong to the same outbreak.

Investigations in two states, Nebraska and Iowa, have indicated that salad might be the vehicle of infection and a link between cases in the two states and an imported pre-packaged salad mix has been established.

The FDA has since performed a traceback investigation and found the source of the salad mix to be Taylor Farms de Mexico, a processor of foodservice salads. The company has now suspended all production and shipment of salad mixes, leafy greens and salad mix components to the USA.

The FDA, CDC and the Mexican authorities are cooperating to investigate the cause of the contamination and to devise controls to prevent a recurrence. The on-going outbreak investigation is trying to determine whether cases of illness from other states have originated from the same source.

CDC outbreak investigation report.

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