December 14, 2019

Cyclospora Outbreak Questionnaire Asks if Patient Ate at Subway, Olive Garden, Red Lobster

Health officials are still investigating the cause of an outbreak of Cyclospora infections (cyclosporiasis) that has sickened people in 17 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (including New York City), Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

cyclospora-outbreak-384One tool investigators are using is outbreak questionnaires. Outbreak victims answer the questions. The answers are then analyzed to determine if there is any food or location that connects the illnesses. In Iowa and Nebraska, health officials found a link between Taylor Farms salad mix served at restaurants and the illnesses. The FDA said this salad mix was served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in those states.

Cyclospora victims in Iowa have filed lawsuits against the Olive Garden owner and Taylor Farms. These lawsuits allege that the illnesses are linked to eating at Olive Garden restaurants located at 4930 Sergeant Road, Sioux City, Iowa, and Collins Rd NE,  Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Attorney Ryan Osterholm filed the suits this week and is planning on filing others.

In Florida, the Cyclospora outbreak questionnaire asks outbreak patients whether they ate at Subway, Olive Garden, Red Lobster or several other restaurants. Taylor Farms lettuce salad products have been distributed to Subway restaurants in the past. Health officials are not saying whether eating a Subway restaurant product is associated with any of the illnesses in the current Cyclospora outbreak.

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