June 24, 2022

Taylor Farms Salad Mix Not Source of TX Cyclospora Cases

Salad mix from Taylor Farms, which was identified as the source of Cyclospora illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska, is not the source of Cyclospora illnesses in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As Food Poisoning Bulletin reported over the weekend,  the agency now believes that it’s likely that there are multiple sources responsible for Cyclospora infections that have sickened more than 600 people in 22 states.

CyclosporaAlthough Cyclospora is rare, there is a precedent for overlapping or back-to-back outbreaks. In 1997, more than 1,300 people contracted Cyclospora infections between March and July. Those illnesses were caused by three  different food sources (mesclun, raspberries and basil) from different countries.

At least 610 cases of Cyclospora have been diagnosed in patients from 22 states since June.  Of those, 242 were in Iowa and Nebraska. That leaves 368 cases, about 60 percent of the total, for which a food source has not been identified.

A team of federal investigators returned to CDC headquarters last week with information gathered in collaboration with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and local public health departments.  During interviews, those who became ill were asked where they ate and where they purchased food in the two weeks before symptoms began.

A cluster of people all mentioned eating at the same restaurant. A detailed investigation of this cluster is ongoing, but early results do not show a connection to salad mix, leafy greens, and salad mix components produced at Taylor Farms de Mexico.

Taylor Farms, which suspended operations August 9  in cooperation with the outbreak investigation, resumed operations August 25 with permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after that agency found no problems at the company’s processing facility and five contributing farms. The company has agreed to implement a comprehensive Cyclospora sampling program for leafy green and other products from their farms and processing facility in Mexico which will include sampling water and continued monitoring of the sanitary conditions at the facilities.

 

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