April 18, 2024

Imported Fresh Basil Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 132 in 11 States

A cyclospora outbreak linked to imported fresh basil has sickened at least 132 people in 11 states, according to the FDA. The basil was by the firm Siga Logistics de RL de CV, located in Morelos, Mexico. The FDA has requested a voluntary recall of the basil and the firm has agreed.

Imported Fresh Basil Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 132 in 11 States

We don’t know the case count by state yet, illness onset dates, or the patient age range, but ill people live in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Exposures occurred at restaurants in four states: Florida, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio. Four people have been hospitalized because they are so sick.

Consumers should not buy, eat, or serve any fresh basil imported by Siga Logistics from Morelos, Mexico. That includes items like pesto or salad. If you aren’t sure whether the basil you purchased is from that company or not, don’t eat it. Avoid basil from Mexico unless you’re sure it wasn’t imported by that specific company.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic parasite that makes people sick with an intestinal illness. It is not transmitted person-to-person, because the oocyst must become infectious outside of the gut. The time between exposure to the parasite and getting sick is about one week.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include watery diarrhea, explosive bowel movements, weight loss, loss of appetite, stomach cramps and pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Other symptoms can include body aches, headache vomiting, fever, and other flu-like symptoms. This illness can last for more than a month, and people can start to feel better, than symptoms can recur. If you have experienced these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this imported fresh basil cyclospora outbreak.

Cyclospora is resistant to routine chemical disinfection methods many processors and restaurants use. Consumers can clean their refrigerator with a mild bleach solution if they purchased suspect basil. Wash your hands well with water and soap after cleaning and after handling the basil. Always rinse produce well and dry it with a paper towel before eating to reduce the risk of infection.


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