May 21, 2024

Cyclospora Outbreak: CSPI Says Packaged Greens May Carry More Risk

that have sickened more than 400 people across the country in an outbreak have been linked to packaged salad greens. These products have been linked to many outbreaks over the years. In fact, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released in January of this year, said that leafy greens were responsible for the majority of foodborne illness outbreaks from 1998 to 2008. Last year, the seventh largest food poisoning outbreak in the U.S. was linked to a spinach and spring mix. In the story Fear of Fresh, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, researchers state that greens packaged in bags may be causing more foodborne outbreaks, because there are ingredients from many different plants packaged into one bag. And those ingredients can come … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak Questionnaire Asks if Victim Ate at a Restaurant

A Cyclospora outbreak questionnaire used by health officials in Florida asks if the outbreak victim ate at a restaurant prior to illness. The purpose of the questionnaire is to determine the source of a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections which has sickened hundreds of people in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, and Ohio. Iowa alone has over 140 cases. The Iowa Department of Health stated today that the Cyclospora outbreak has been linked to a prepackaged salad mix containing iceberg and Romaine lettuce, carrots and red cabbage. The food trace back investigation performed by Iowa health offials determined that at least 80 percent of its 143 cases had been exposed to the … [Read more...]

Bagged Salad Mix Source of Cyclospora Outbreak

The multistate Cyclospora outbreak that has sickened almost 400 people in 15 states is believed to have been caused by a prepackaged salad mix, according to Iowa's Chief of the Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA). Steven Mandernach said in a press release, "the evidence points to a salad mix containing iceberg and romaine lettuce, as well as carrots and red cabbage. Iowans should continue eating salads as the implicated prepackaged mix is not longer in the state's food supply chain." The Cyclospora outbreak has hit people in the states of Iowa and Nebraska the hardest. Not all of the reported cases have been confirmed as being part of the same outbreak. Iowa's investigation found that the salad mix was common to 80% of the case patients in their state. Apparently, some people … [Read more...]

CDC Encouraging Telediagnosis in Cyclospora Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging a new way to confirm cases in the multi-state Cyclospora outbreak called telediagnosis. Public health officials say that labs should use this method, which lets state health labs submit images showing suspected Cyclospora oocysts to the CDC. So far, 33 cases have been confirmed in CDC labs. At least 363 people have been sickened in this outbreak. Our numbers are different from the CDCs numbers because we call each health department individually to get the latest updates. So far, at least 21 people in three states have been hospitalized for complications from this illness. Most of the illness onset dates in this outbreak have ranged from mid-June through early July. The outbreak is growing by the day, and now fifteen states … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas reaches 244

The Cyclospora outbreak in six states has sickened at least 244 people, according to reports from health departments. In Iowa, 118 people are sick, while in Nebraska, at least 63 have been sickened. Texas has a case count of 56, Wisconsin has four, Illinois two, and Kansas one. The cases in Iowa and Nebraska appear to be connected, but health officials don't know if the cases in the other states are part of the same outbreak. For comparison, there are usually about 100 cases of Cyclospora infections reported every year in the entire country. According to the update from the Iowa Department of Health, the number of cases reported is decreasing, and the source of the outbreak is "unknown at this time". The investigation is focusing on determining the source of the contamination. … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak Investigation in Iowa Focuses on Imported Vegetables; Cedar Rapids Hit Hard

An imported vegetable product is the most likely source of the Cyclospora outbreak that has sickened people in Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and other states, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).  The department continues to receive reports of confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection, but the numbers are decreasing. The focus now is interviewing victims of the outbreak and analyzing the data to pinpoint the food product that made so many people sick. “Through interviews with those who have been ill and by mapping the onset of illness (mid-June), we have a very good indication the source of contamination was most likely a vegetable that has probably already been consumed or discarded (because of the limited shelf life of fresh produce),” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Food Poisoning Outbreak: 4 Questions and Answers

1. How is Cyclospora transmitted by food? Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite. People can become infected with Cyclospora by ingesting sporulated oocysts, the infective form of the parasite, in food. Unsanitary conditions at a farm, processing plant or distribution center can allow human feces containing Cyclospora oocysts to contaminate food. It generally takes days or even weeks for these fecal oocysts to become sporulated, and thereby infective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So the contamination of the food happens days or weeks before it is eaten. This makes it more difficult to find the source of a Cyclospora food poisoning outbreak. 2.  What evidence is needed to prove that a grower, processor, distributor, grocery store and/or restaurant … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak May Have Sickened Almost 200 Nationwide

The Cyclospora outbreak that has been reported by health departments in several midwestern states may have sickened as many as 183 people. The Iowa Department of Public Health released new information today saying their case count is up to 87. In Nebraska, 54 people are sick, and Texas has 37 cases of the parasitic disease so far this year; of those, 29 in north Texas were reported just this week. According to news reports, Illinois has two cases, Kansas has one, and Wisconsin has two cases. Public health officials are not sure if the cases in Texas, Illinois, Kansas, and Wisconsin are linked to the outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska. This one-celled parasite enters the body in the form of an oocyst when you eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water. Fresh vegetables are suspected … [Read more...]

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