Some Bagged Salads Linked to Intestinal Parasite, FDA Warns

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an update to an ongoing investigation in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora.

Investigators have traced the microscopic parasite back to several bagged salad brands: ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad, Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad, and Signature Farms Brand Garden Salad from Jewel-Osco grocery stores.

The FDA says that the CDC analysis was able to trace the illness back to these bagged salads. Still, the FDA notes that further investigation into suppliers and distributors could mean that more products are impacted.

“The FDA is working with the companies to determine the source of the products, but in the meantime, we are issuing a public warning to consumers to avoid the identified products to prevent additional infections,” Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said in a statement.

Between May 11 and June 14, Cyclospora infected 76 people in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska, with 16 hospitalized.

According to the FDA, symptoms of Cyclospora include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. The illness may also come with flu-like symptoms and could last a few days, a month, or longer.

The FDA recommends consumers wash anywhere food is stored or worked with such as refrigerators and counter-tops and sanitize with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water. Consumers are further encouraged to wash their hands when handling food regularly, and anyone who feels ill should contact their health care provider.

Consumers can get more information and can report complaints or related illness on the FDA’s website here.

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