Cyclospora Outbreak Linked to Bagged Salad

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned consumers to avoid eating brand bagged salads sold at three supermarket chains because of an outbreak of Cyclospora infections in 10 states.

The multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections is potentially linked to ALDI, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco grocery store brand “garden salads” containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots.

As of July 22nd, 122 people had been reported sick and 19 were hospitalized with intestinal problems from eating salads contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite, the two federal agencies reported.

The FDA said ALDI, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco recalled their store-branded salads, specifically labeled “Garden Salads” and sold in the Midwestern states. Fresh Express is the manufacturer of these salads.

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In addition, Aldi issued a recall of its Little Salad Bar Garden Salads with use-by dates of May 16 to July 04 and distributed in the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin between May 1 and June 19.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, to June 15, 2020. Ill people range in age from 16 to 92 years with a median age of 63 and 45% are female, the CDC reported. Of 118 people with available information, 19 people (16%) have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

According to CDC experts, more people may not yet have been reported as infected due to the time lag between when a person becomes ill and when the case is reported.

Cyclospora is a microscopic parasite that can affect the digestive tract. The most common symptom is watery diarrhea. It can last from a few days to a month or more. The symptoms may disappear and then recur. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, weight loss, muscle aches, vomiting and fatigue.

“If customers have the affected Little Salad Bar Garden Salad, they should discard it immediately,” the FDA recall warned.