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Illinois Salad Producer Has Third Food Poisoning Incident in Last Three YearsThe number of people who have been affected by the cyclospora salad outbreak has increased since we last reported it in June. As of July 24, 641 people in 11 states are confirmed to have contracted cyclospora, as well as more than 100 other people in Canada. Illinois has been the state with the most people infected, with 241 reported cases. Dozens of people have been hospitalized but no one has died. The cyclospora outbreak was linked to garden salads produced by Fresh Express in its Streamwood, Illinois, facility. Fresh Express has recalled the packaged salads, which were sold under various names at Jewel-Osco, ALDI, Walmart, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, and ShopRite. The fact that this is the third food poisoning outbreak in three years connected to Fresh Express and its Streamwood facility gives an additional reason for concern.

2018 Cyclospora Outbreak

From May to July in 2018, 511 people from 15 states, including Illinois, contracted cyclospora after eating salads sold at McDonald’s restaurants in the Midwest. Fresh Express was the supplier for McDonald’s salads at the time, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that a package of romaine lettuce and carrots from the Streamwood facility had tested positive for cyclospora. McDonald’s stopped selling salads that it purchased from Fresh Express and switched to a different supplier.

2019 E. Coli Outbreak

In November 2019, 10 people from five states, including one from Illinois, contracted a strain of E. coli that the FDA believed originated from Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp chopped salad kits. The strain of E. coli was different from the strain in a concurrent incident involving contaminated romaine lettuce grown in California. The FDA was unable to determine which ingredient in the salad kit was contaminated and announced that the outbreak was over on Jan. 15.

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Cyclospora in Salads Sickens Dozens in IllinoisMore than 200 people in the midwestern U.S. have been diagnosed with cyclosporiasis after eating packaged salads sold in grocery stores. Illinois is one of the states that has been most affected by the cyclospora outbreak, with at least 57 people having been diagnosed from May 11 to June 17. The contamination has been traced to Fresh Express salad packages that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. The product goes by different names depending on where the product is sold, including:

  • ALDI Little Salad Bar Garden Salads
  • Hy-Vee Garden Salad
  • Jewel-Osco Signature Farms Garden Salad
  • Walmart Marketside Classic Iceberg Salad

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still investigating whether there are additional contaminated Fresh Express salad packages that are sold under other names.

Dangers of Cyclosporiasis

At least 23 of the people recently diagnosed with cyclosporiasis have been hospitalized because of the severity of their symptoms. Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by consuming food or drink that contains the cyclospora parasite. Cyclospora is most commonly found in produce that is grown in tropical climates, where the parasite is most prevalent and can spread from the feces of humans and animals who have it.

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Cyclospora Outbreaks Most Common During Warm Weather MonthsThe Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 580 confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in the U.S. between May 1 and July 23, 2019. The cases occurred in 30 states and the District of Columbia and have been traced to food served in restaurants and prepared at home. Fresh basil imported from Mexico seems to be the largest source of the outbreak, being connected to 132 infections. In total, at least 38 people have been hospitalized, with no reported deaths. The U.S. commonly experiences an increase in cyclospora outbreaks during the summer months, as opposed to the rest of the year.

Source

Cyclospora is a parasite spread through feces that contaminates food or water. The parasite is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical areas. Travelers to these areas are at greater risk of infection if they consume raw local foods or tap water. Domestic outbreaks in the U.S. can come from fresh produce imported from these tropical areas, including but not limited to:

  • Lettuce;
  • Basil;
  • Raspberries; and
  • Snow peas.

Domestic consumers can best protect themselves from infection by thoroughly washing produce, though this is not guaranteed to remove the parasite.

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Cyclospora Outbreak Linked to McDonald's Salads

As of late July 2018, 286 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclospora infection from victims in 15 states have been linked to a cyclospora outbreak connected to McDonald's salads. Although no deaths have been reported in conjunction with this outbreak, at least 11 people have been hospitalized.

Cyclospora is a parasite that causes infections in human hosts. When an individual becomes ill after consuming food or a beverage contaminated with cyclospora and the consumption could have been prevented if another party had taken greater care to prevent it, the victim may be entitled to recover monetary compensation for his or her damages through a food poisoning claim.

How Cyclospora is Spread

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Cilantro Cyclospora Outbreak Continues

A cyclospora outbreak traced to cilantro has infected 218 people so far this summer, making it the third consecutive summer that the parasite has travelled to the United States.

The 2013 Outbreak

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