Taylor Farms de Mexico food service salad served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants is the source of the Cyclospora outbreak that sickened at least 232 people in Iowa and Nebraska. Health officials from those states announced July 30 that a salad mix containing iceberg and romaine lettuces, carrots and red cabbage was the source of the illnesses, but did not release the name of the company that produced it as the tainted salad was no longer in circulation in those states.
Over the last few days, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been conducting a traceback investigation of the salad identified by Iowa and Nebraska. The agency today announced that illness clusters at four restaurant sites were all linked to the same supplier, Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., a processor of foodservice salads. Food Poisoning Bulletin has learned that those restaurants were Red Lobster and Olive Garden locations in Iowa an Nebraska. FDA’s investigation has not implicated consumer packages sold in grocery stores
The FDA last inspected the processing facility of Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. in 2011 and found no problems. The agency will now conduct an environmental assessment of the facility.
Cyclospora cases have been reported in 14 other states. It is unclear at this time if the are all related. Sixteen states reported a total of 442 cases of Cyclospora infection to Food Poisoning Bulletin on August 2. By state the case counts are as follows: Iowa (148), Texas (140), Nebraska (84), Florida (25), Wisconsin* (12), Arkansas* (8) New York (6), Illinois* (4) Georgia (4), Missouri (3), Connecticut (2), Louisiana (2), Kansas *(2), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (1), Ohio (1), (*Notes: Arkansas health officials previously believed that one of their cases was not part of the outbreak, but they now believe that all are. Florida has not found a common restaurant or food exposure among its case patients. One of the cases in Illinois was likely exposed while visiting Iowa. One of the cases in Kansas was likely exposed while visiting Nebraska. In Wisconsin, tests on two more cases are pending, and two other cases were determined to have been acquired during travel out of the country. The total number of cases in this story is current per each state today and therefore exceeds the number on the CDC’s most recent update.)