Foodborne Illnesses Linked to Bagged Salad

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News Release
 
For Immediate Release: 6/24/2020
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CONTACTS
Leah Bucco-White, Communications, (402) 471-9356,
leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov
Khalilah LeGrand, Communications, (402) 853-1320,
khalilah.legrand@nebraska.gov

 

Nebraska one of several states affected

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and local health departments are investigating a gastrointestinal illness outbreak caused by a rare parasite called Cyclospora.

There are currently 17 cases statewide. Fresh vegetables and fruit are usually associated with Cyclospora outbreaks. People become sick when they consume food contaminated with the parasite.

DHHS and local health department officials conducted interviews with Nebraskans who contracted the illness. Based on those interviews, the majority of people reported purchasing and eating prepackaged salads. Other states have received similar reports leading to a joint investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and regional state and local partners. 

The investigation points to a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections that appear to be associated with store brand garden salads containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots purchased at ALDI, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco grocery stores, according to the CDC. On June 20, 2020, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco grocery stores recalled their store brand bagged salads with the “Garden Salads" label sold in mid-western states. On June 22, 2020, ALDI recalled 12-ounce bagged “Little Salad Bar Garden Salad."

“It's important for consumers to check their homes for any of these recalled salads. Throw away remaining salad, even if some of it has been eaten and no one has gotten sick," said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. Product photos, used by dates and UPC codes are available on the FDA's website - https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-cyclospora-bagged-salads-june-2020.

Symptoms of Cyclospora include diarrhea that can last weeks to months, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, intestinal gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and low-grade fever.

People experiencing symptoms should see a physician for diagnosis and treatment.

For up-to-date information related to the current outbreak, please visit:

CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/cyclosporiasis/outbreaks/2020/

FDA - https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-cyclospora-bagged-salads-june-2020

Cyclosporiasis Fact Sheet - https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/cyclosporiasis/resources/pdf/cyclosporiasis_general-public_061214.pdf

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Cyclospora cases from previous years are below.

2020 – 17

2019 – 36

2018 – 22

2017 – 9

2016 – 10

2015 – Less than 5

2014 – Less than 5

2013 – 92 (outbreak)

2012 – Less than 5

2011 – Less than 5

2010 – Less than 5

 

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