Food Safety Lawyer Fred Pritzker who is representing clients in the bagged salad Cyclospora outbreak says more testing is needed to accurately define its size. Pritzker, whose firm has represented clients in every major U.S. Cyclospora outbreak, says that based on the hospitalization rate, the outbreak may be larger than reported.
Of the 206 people sickened in the outbreak as of July 1st, 23 have required hospitalization, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That 11 percent hospitalization rate is two to three times higher than recent outbreaks such as the 2019 outbreak linked to basil imported from Mexico, which was 3 percent; the 2018 outbreak linked to Fresh Express salads served at McDonald’s – 5 percent; or the 3 percent hospitalization rate of the 2018 outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays.
The high hospitalization rate may be an indicator that many people who are getting sick aren’t being tested, Pritzker says. This might be because they are worried about going to the doctor during the pandemic are being seen by doctors via video conference and are being prescribed antibiotics without being tested. Testing may also be falling short because health departments are swamped with coronavirus tests.
“In conversations, we’ve had with people who got sick after eating these salads, some have said they got antibiotics after a remote doctor’s appointment and weren’t tested. Others who were treated in-office or even in-hospital said a stool sample test was never done,” Pritzker said.
The outbreak has been linked to bagged salads produced by Fresh Express and sold under the Fresh Express brand name as well as store brand names. A recall for these bagged salads includes 31 states and Washington, D.C. All of the salads contain iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage and were made at the Fresh Express facility in Streamwood, IL.
Pritzker Hageman Cyclospora lawyers have represented clients in every major Cyclospora outbreak in the U.S including this one. If you got sick from contaminated salad, we can help. For a free consultation with our experienced legal team, please call 1-888-377-8900, send a text 612-261-0856, or complete the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.