December 14, 2019

Cyclospora Outbreak in Michigan Associated with Taste Restaurant Sickens Eight

A cyclospora outbreak in Southwest Michigan has sickened at least eight people, according to a news release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Preliminary information suggests that those sickened were exposed to food products that were prepared or distributed by Taste restaurant in South Haven.

Cyclospora Outbreak in Michigan Associated with Taste Restaurant Sickens Eight

Those people have gotten sick in the last month. And at least 14 other people are being investigated as being part of this outbreak cluster.

Those sickened have said they have been eating out in Southwest Michigan since mid June. Officials from the The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Van Buren/Cass District Health Department are investigating this outbreak.

The press release states that “Preliminary information suggests an exposure to food products prepared at or distributed by Taste restaurant in South Haven. There is no indication that the illnesses are related to poor food handling or preparation at this establishment. Taste restaurant is fully cooperating with the investigation.”

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More establishments may be identified and named as this investigation continues. Food histories and invoices from suppliers are being reviewed. There is an increase in cyclospora cases statewide that are not related to the South Haven area restaurants.

Tim Slawinski, MDARDs Food and Diary Division Director said in a statement, “Cyclospora contamination often occurs prior to the food arriving at food distribution centers and restaurants. This type of contamination is not easily removed by standard produce rinsing.”

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis, the illness caused by this one-celled parasite, include explosive and watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, and fatigue. If not treated, this infection can recur for months.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS said, “We are asking that anyone who has symptoms like watery diarrhea and stomach cramps and recently ate at the restaurant contact their doctor because this illness can be effectively treated with antibiotics.”

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