December 7, 2016

Cyclospora Sickens 384, Wisconsin, Texas and Georgia Hard Hit

At least 384 people in 26 states have been sickened with parasitic infections from food contaminated with Cyclospora. Some of the infections in Wisconsin, Georgia and Texas have been linked to restaurant food. And many infections in Texas and Wisconsin have been linked to cilantro imported from Mexico.

Fresh CilantroSymptoms of a Cyclospora infection, called cyclosporiasis, can last up to two months and include explosive diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, body aches, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can also last more than 60 days.

Cyclospora Food PoisoningAbout 59 percent of the illnesses have occurred since May 1, 2015. Health investigators are working to determine the source of all of the cases.

Consumers should be careful not to purchase imported Mexican cilantro form grocery stores. Kroger has issued a recall for cilantro sold at some of its stores. This is the third straight year that produce imported from Mexico has been linked to a Cyclospora outbreak.

In 2013, 227 cases in Iowa and Nebraska were linked to a commercial bagged salad mix produced by Taylor Farms of Mexico. The contaminated salad, which was served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants, triggered several lawsuits. Ryan Osterholm, a noted food safety attorney, represented an Iowa woman who contracted a parasitic Cyclospora infection after eating at an Olive Garden whose illness lasted several weeks.

 

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