Over 600 People Infected With Cyclospora After Eating Bagged Salad Mix

BY Lorenz Duchamps TIMEJuly 25, 2020 PRINT

A multi-state cyclospora outbreak has hospitalized 37 people and sickened over 600, federal health officials said on Saturday.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the outbreak is potentially linked to “garden salad” sold in Aldi, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, ShopRite, and Walmart grocery stores.

The product contains iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. An investigation found that the mix, which is produced by Fresh Express, was sold at some Walmart stores. The mixes are under different brand names at different stores.

The cyclospora-infected cases have been reported in 11 states mostly in the Midwest, with illnesses being discovered from May 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. No deaths have been reported so far.

Health officials issued an alert late last month over the multi-state outbreak of the parasitic infection cyclospora—a diarrhea-causing microscopic parasite—that has sickened 641 people so far, the FDA said. They were in Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

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The FDA and CDC said the products were voluntarily recalled and go by the store brands of Aldi Little Salad Bar, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco Signature Farms, ShopRite Wholesome Pantry, and Walmart Marketside. The products were made in the Fresh Express production facility in Streamwood, Illinois.

The recalled products were sold in at least 30 states. They include Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

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The CDC said not to “eat, sell, or serve” the recalled products and released some additional information regarding the salads sold in Walmart, Aldi, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco.

  • Recalled Walmart Marketside brand Classic Iceberg Salad sold in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
  • Recalled (pdf) Aldi Little Salad Bar brand Garden Salad sold in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
  • Recalled Hy-Vee brand 12-ounce bagged Garden Salad sold in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
  • Recalled Jewel-Osco Signature Farms brand 12-ounce bagged Garden Salad sold in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa
Epoch Times Photo
Marketside brand Classic Iceberg Salad. (PRNewsfoto/Fresh Express)
Epoch Times Photo
Hy-Vee brand 12-ounce bagged Garden Salad. (FDA)

The FDA said it is continuing its investigation as there “may be additional retailers and products impacted by this outbreak.”

“FDA is working with retailers to ensure the potentially adulterated products are effectively removed from the market place. As this outbreak investigation continues, the FDA will continue to provide additional updates to this advisory,” the department stated.

The report alerted consumers to not eat the recalled salads and if they have a bag to throw it out immediately, even if nobody became sick after eating the recalled product.

Cyclospora is a single-celled parasite that is too small to be seen without a microscope. It causes watery diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Aching, fever, loss of appetite, and general fatigue are also symptoms.

Cyclosporiasis outbreaks are reported throughout the year but it’s most common during spring and summer months, according to the CDC.

“Previous U.S. outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce (e.g. basil, cilantro, mesclun lettuce, raspberries, and snow peas),” said the CDC.

Last year the CDC received reports of multiple outbreaks of the disease linked to various products. There were 2,408 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in 37 states and at least 144 people were hospitalized.

The CDC and FDA had investigated multiple cases linked to restaurants and events.

Epoch Times reporter Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this report.

Lorenz Duchamps is a news writer for NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and entertainment news.
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