An outbreak of cyclospora in six Midwestern states likely came from store brand bagged salads with iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and carrot sold at several grocery chains, the FDA says.
The infections from the parasite, totaling 76 illnesses with 16 hospitalizations, are linked to ALDI, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco store brand garden salad mixes.
The FDA warned people not to eat these products, listed with the states where sold:
- ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri
- Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad: Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska
- Jewel-Osco Signature Farms Brand Garden Salad: Illinois
Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco say in recall notices that Fresh Express manufactures their products.
"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,” says Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for Food Policy and Response. "While there is no widely available method to DNA-fingerprint cyclospora, the epidemiologic investigation has identified grocery stores and products linked to illnesses caused by this parasite."
The CDC’s analysis of epidemiologic information indicates that these salads are likely sources of the outbreak, with many of the ill people saying they bought the products in question. But the salads did not explain all illnesses.
The FDA, CDC and health officials in several states continue to investigate whether other products made people ill. The FDA is working on a traceback investigation to determine supplier and distributor information to find the outbreak source. Additional retailers and products may be impacted by the outbreak, the agency notes.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11 through June 14. “There are typically multiple clusters of cyclospora infections that occur during a given season,” the CDC announcement says. “It is unknown at this time if other reported cases of cyclospora infection in the United States this season are linked to contaminated ingredients in these bagged salad mixes.”
Hy-Vee recalled 12-oz. bags of its store brand garden salad, with all UPCs and expiration dates, distributed in eight states: Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Customers may return the products to their Hy-Vee store for a refund. Hy-Vee shoppers with recall questions may call the company 24 hours a day at 800-772-4098.
The recalled Jewel-Osco Signature Farms Garden Salad was sold in 12-ounce bags with best by dates of May 16 through July 4, UPC 21130 98135, and a unique plant number S5417. The stores also are offering a refund. People may contact Jewel-Osco about the recall at 877-723-3929.