78 People Sickened in US From Parasite Linked to Fresh-Cut Vegetables

June 18, 2018 Updated: June 18, 2018

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that at least 78 people have been sickened, prompting a recall of Del Monte fresh-cut vegetables in several states.

The FDA confirmed that 6-ounce and 12-ounce trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, and dip may have the cyclospora parasite. They were sold in Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Del Monte “small veggie trays,” which are 28 ounces, distributed in Illinois and Indiana were also recalled, the agency confirmed.

They were sold at Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, FoodMax Supermarket, and Peapod stores.

The trays were marked with a “best if enjoyed by or before” June 17 or earlier.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted 78 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in persons in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan after people consumed the vegetable trays. “The two cases from Michigan reportedly purchased the vegetable tray in Wisconsin and therefore Michigan is not impacted from this outbreak,” stated the FDA on its website.

The agency said it “has not identified which of the ingredients is the vehicle for this outbreak; each component of these vegetable trays is under consideration. FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information related to the vegetable trays; the investigation is ongoing.”

Consumers who bought the items should discard the product immediately, but they noted that cooking the “produce at high temperature will kill most pathogens, including parasites such as Cyclospora, and thus significantly reduces the likelihood of illness.”

Cyclospora cayetanensis “can cause an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis,” the FDA stated, adding that it “needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person.” Meanwhile, it noted, “it is unlikely that cyclosporiasis is passed directly from one person to another.”

Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, fatigue, and nausea. More severe symptoms such as headaches, fever, body aches, and vomiting have also been noted.

“If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times,” said the FDA.

Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that Kellogg’s is recalling its Honey Smacks cereal, which has been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka. The outbreak has spanned 31 states along with 73 cases of infection.


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