In late June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began investigating a Cyclospora outbreak linked to bagged salads. Cyclospora is a microscopic parasite that causes intestinal issues, and the confirmed number of cases linked to the salads in the United States has reached nearly 700.
After investigating, the FDA and CDC determined that the outbreak was connected to the Fresh Express brand. Salad in the tainted batches was distributed to small markets and chains like Aldi, Hy-Vee, Walmart, and Jewel-Osco. It was later announced that ShopRite Wholesome Pantry, and Walmart Marketside packaging could be contaminated as well.
The contaminated products include "Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad" at Aldi, "Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad" at Hy-Vee, and "Signature Farms Brand Garden Salad" at Jewel-Osco. The products were distributed to 31 states and Washington, D.C.
According to a press release, at the time of publication, 641 individuals in the Midwestern region of the United States have confirmed cases of Cyclospora. Illinois has the most cases, with 198 confirmed. The Public Health Agency of Canada has also reported 37 cases.
Cyclospora can only be detected through a specific test, so those who think they may be infected should seek medical attention. Symptoms include fever, cramps, nausea, weight loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and more. Those who came in contact with Fresh Express bagged salads should be cognizant of these symptoms as well.
A lawsuit has been filed by an Illinois man against Fresh Express and Berkot's Super Foods in Cook County, IL. He reportedly purchased a bag of contaminated salad from that market.
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