August 7, 2020

Canada Fresh Express Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 37 in 3 Provinces

A Canada Fresh Express cyclospora outbreak has sickened at last 37 people in 3 provinces, according to a notice by Public Health Agency Canada. Exposure to Fresh Express brand salad products that contain iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage has been identified as a likely source of this outbreak. There is a large multistate cyclospora outbreak, also linked to Fresh Express bagged salads, in the U.S.

Canada Fresh Express Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 37 in 3 Provinces

A recall of some Fresh Express brand salad products was issued in Canada on June 28, 2020. The recalled salads have a lot code of “Z177” or lower and have best before dates up to and including 20JUL08 – 20JUL14.

The patient case count by province is Ontario (26), Quebec (10), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Illness onset dates range from mid May and mid June 2020. One person has been hospitalized because they are so sick. The patient age range is between 21 and 70 years of age.

Some of those sickened reported eating certain Fresh Express brand salad products containing those three ingredients before they got sick. But not all patients said they ate those products, so the source of the illness for the remaining patients continues to be investigated.

Check to see if you have any of the recalled products in your home, with those specific expiration dates and product code. If you  do, throw them out immediately, even if some of the product has been eaten and no one has gotten sick. You should then wash and sanitize any containers and refrigerator drawers or shelves that were used to store these salads. If you have salad products without the original packaging, throw them away to be safe. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after handling the salad and after cleaning.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include abdominal bloating and gas, stomach cramps and pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, mild fever, nausea, weight loss, and watery and explosive diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within 2 to 5 days after eating a contaminated food, but it may take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to begin. If you do get sick, see your  doctor and request a cyclospora stool sample test.

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