November 17, 2020

What Happened to the Fresh Express Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak?

It has been almost a month since the FDA or CDC has updated the Fresh Express bagged salad cyclospora outbreak. The last update in the U.S., published on August 14, 2020, listed 690 people sick in 13 states, with Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois hardest hit. Thirty-seven people have been hospitalized. In Canada, where the last update was posted on July 8, 2020, 37 people in three provinces were sick.

What Happened to the Fresh Express Bagged Salads Cyclospora Outbreak?

Fresh Express recalled products containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, or carrots with the product code Z178 or lower in June 2020, with more updates issued later. The salads were sold under several brand names, including ALDI, Hy Vee, Jewel Osco, Walmart, Giant Eagle, and ShopRite. The best by dates on the recalled products ran through July 14, 2020. Based on traceback, the carrots are no longer considered part of this investigation, but red cabbage and iceberg lettuce are still items of interest.

The FDA’s traceback investigation found several farms in the U.S. that may have provided product used in those salads. And water samples from two public access points along a regional water management canal in Florida were taken by the FDA. The water samples tested positive for Cyclospora cayetanensis using FDA’s validated testing method.

Unfortunately, because genetic typing methodologies for this parasite are emerging, the FDA wasn’t able to determine if the cyclospora oocysts in the canal water is a genetic match to the clinical cases. The FDA is working with the state of Florida and the local water district to find the source of cyclospora in the canal.

The case count by state as of August 15, 2020 is: Georgia (1), Iowa (206), Illinois (209), Kansas (5), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (86), Missouri (57), Nebraska (55), North Dakota (6), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Dakota (13), and Wisconsin (45). The last reported date of illness onset was July 20, 2020.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include loss of appetite and weight loss, nausea, stomach cramps and pain, muscle aches, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and most especially frequent, explosive, watery diarrhea that may alternate with bouts of constipation. People usually start feeling sick about a week after they eat foods contaminated with the oocysts. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Fresh Express bagged salad cyclospora outbreak.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a cyclospora infection after eating recalled Fresh express bagged salads, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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