The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is testing samples of the food suspected to be the source of a Cyclospora outbreak that has sickened 62 people. These illnesses are a subset of the 208 domestically acquired cyclosporiasis cases that have been reported this summer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Federal officials have not yet disclosed the suspected food. Previous Cyclospora outbreaks have been linked to contaminated fresh produce including cilantro, basil, raspberries, blackberries, mesclun, snap peas, and bagged salads.
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How Does Food Get Contaminated with Cyclospora?
Cyclospora is a parasite native to tropical and sub-tropical climates. Humans are the only known reservoir of the parasite which is shed in their stool. People get cyclosporiasis when they eat food that is contaminated with microscopic amounts of fecal matter from an infected person. This can happen if the water used to grow or process produce has not been treated to kill parasites and other pathogens; if workers who have Cyclospora infections handle food without washing hands properly after using the bathroom; if portable toilet facilities in growing fields are not used by employees; if these facilities are not properly cleaned and maintained; or if the waste is not disposed of properly.
Symptoms of a Cylospora infection, which usually develop within two weeks of eating contaminated food, include diarrhea that can be explosive or watery, abdominal cramps, nausea, weight loss, bloating, and fatigue. Without treatment, these symptoms can last for weeks or months.
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Fresh Express Salad Cyclospora Outbreaks
Last year, a Cyclospora outbreak linked to bagged salads produced by Fresh Express sickened 701 people in 14 states. Thirty-eight people were hospitalized.
Fresh Express issued a recall for the salads, which contained iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. They were sold under the Fresh Express brand name and a variety of store brands including ALDI Little Salad Bar, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco Signature Farms, ShopRite Wholesome Pantry, and Walmart Marketside. All of the salads were produced at the Fresh Express facility in Streamwood, IL.
That outbreak marked the second time in two years that salads produced by Fresh Express were linked to a Cyclospora outbreak. In 2018, salads made by Fresh Express and sold at McDonald’s were linked to a Cyclospora outbreak that sickened more than 500 people. Those salads were also produced at the Fresh Express facility in Streamwood, IL.
Experienced Cyclospora Lawyers
Pritzker Hageman Cyclospora lawyers represented clients in both Fresh Express outbreaks. In fact, our team of Cyclospora attorneys has successfully represented clients sickened in every major Cyclospora outbreak in the U.S. To request a free consultation about your potential case, please call 1-888-377-8900, text 612-261-0856, or complete the form below.