Yes, you can sue for Cyclospora if there is sufficient evidence that links your illness to a food company (including food distributors or farms), a grocery store, or a restaurant. In order to pursue your case, our legal team needs to be able to prove that you have:
- A confirmed diagnosis of Cyclospora. A stool sample from your doctor, hospital, or health department will show if you test positive for a Cyclospora infection.
- Eaten food from the restaurant, grocery store, or food company implicated in your case.
- Quantifiable harm caused by your illness. Our clients often miss work due to the severity of their illnesses. Many people can experience a relapse of their symptoms, which causes them to miss even more work. A lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills, emotional distress, and other damages.
Cyclospora attorneys on the Pritzker Hageman food safety legal team have represented more clients in recent, large-scale Cyclospora outbreaks than any other attorneys in the U.S. Pritzker Hageman food safety lawyers filed the first lawsuit in the Cooper’s Hawk Cyclospora outbreak and has represented the majority of the people sickened in the recent outbreaks linked to McDonald’s salad and Del Monte veggie trays. Call our food poisoning lawyers now at 1-888-377-8900.
Cyclospora Outbreaks Linked to Produce
Cyclospora outbreaks from fresh produce are on the rise. Since Cyclospora has typically been native to tropical and subtropical regions, it usually spreads to the U.S. through imported produce and outbreaks occur most often in the summer. However, Cyclospora has recently been increasingly found on domestically produced samples. The many nooks and crannies that form the structure of most produce, such as lettuce, berries, and cilantro, make it extremely difficult, if not impossible to wash off the pathogen. Cyclospora parasites can also survive freezing temperatures.
Most outbreaks occur when produce has been grown or packed in unsanitary conditions. This can happen when the produce is washed or irrigated in water that has been contaminated with human feces. For example, over the past few years, cilantro grown in Pueblo, Mexico, has been linked to numerous Cyclospora outbreaks. The pervasive illnesses prompted the FDA and Mexican health officials to investigate. From 2013-2015, health officials inspected 11 farms in Mexico, 5 of which had been linked to the Cyclospora outbreaks in the U.S. Their findings, including the following, led the FDA to issue an import alert.
- Human feces and toilet paper found in growing fields and around facilities
- Inadequately maintained or complete lack of toilet and handwashing facilities
- Unsanitary food-contact surfaces
- Water used for washing cilantro vulnerable to contamination from sewage/septic systems
Recent Cyclospora outbreaks linked to produce include:
- 8-state outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to store brand bagged garden salad sold at ALDI, Hy-Vee, Giant Eagle, ShopRight and Jewel-Osco
- 11-state outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to fresh basil imported from Mexico
- Ongoing investigation of Cooper’s Hawk Cyclospora outbreak in Jacksonville, FL
- McDonald’s outbreak from Fresh Express salad mix
- Cyclospora outbreak at Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, IL
- Sonora Grill Cyclospora outbreak linked to cilantro in Minneapolis, MN
- Cyclospora outbreak from Del Monte vegetable trays sold by Kwik Trip
What Should I Do If I Think I Have Cyclospora?
The most important thing to do first is to see your doctor for a stool sample. If you test positive for Cyclospora, you should contact your local health department, who may then be able to link your illness to an outbreak. While potentially contaminated products should be safely discarded or returned to the place of purchase, you may want to preserve evidence of possible sources of infection if you can do so safely.
Cyclospora treatment requires specific targeted antibiotics. The standard of care is typically a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim, and sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim.