Parasite Linked to Bagged Salad Infects over 600 People in 11 States

Concept of healthy and organic food. Lettuce salad at supermarket.
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A parasite linked to bagged salad mixes has sickened 641 people in 11 states, federal health officials said Friday.

“Of those infected in the multistate outbreak of Cyclospora, 37 were hospitalized, the Food and Drug Administration said. There were no deaths reported,” according to ABC 6.

States that reported the illnesses were Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website noted.

“On June 27, 2020, Fresh Express recalled Fresh Express brand and private label brand salad products produced at its Streamwood, IL facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and/or carrots due to possible Cyclospora contamination,” the site read.

It continued:

Products were sold in many states under either the brand name Fresh Express or the store brand labels ALDI Little Salad Bar, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco Signature Farms, ShopRite Wholesome Pantry, and Walmart Marketside.

You can identify the recalled products by looking for the Product Code, located in the upper right-hand corner of the front of the package. The recall includes products marked with the letter “Z” at the beginning of the Product Code, followed by the number “178” or lower.

When people ate food or drank water contaminated with the parasite, it could result in an illness called cyclosporiasis, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about one week. Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements,” the agency said.

Additional symptoms included weight loss, stomach cramps, nausea, fatigue, and body aches. However, some people infected with Cyclospora did not experience symptoms.

The CDC recommended consumers check their homes for the recalled products and advised them to “Throw any remaining salad away, even if some of it has been eaten and no one has gotten sick.”

The agency added that the investigation was ongoing, and said some illnesses might not have been reported yet due to the time it took between when a person became sick and when it was reported, which was about four to six weeks.


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