Chris Koger of The Packer reports that cases of Cyclospora infection linked to Fresh Express salads continue to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Canada is reporting its first cases.
Lab-confirmed cases thought to be linked to iceberg lettuce, carrots or red cabbage in garden salads were 509 in the U.S, as of July 9, according to the CDC. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on July 8 reported 37 cases in Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The salads, including private-label bagged garden salads, were processed at Fresh Express’ Streamwood, Ill., facility, according to the FDA.
Fresh Express has recalled salads from the plant containing the three ingredients under investigation, along with Aldi, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, ShopRite and Walmart issuing recalls of private label salads.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported on June 28 Fresh Express had recalled products in Canada. They were distributed nationwide by Crescent Multi-Foods, Federated Co-Operatives Ltd., Fresh Express and Walmart Canada Corp., according to the Canadian Agency.
An edited version of the latest CDC update is below:
On June 27, 2020, Fresh Express recalled Fresh Express brand and private label brand salad products produced at its Streamwood, IL facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and/or carrots due to possible Cyclospora contamination.
509 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections and who reported eating bagged salad mix before getting sick have been reported from 8 Midwestern states (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin).
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to July 1, 2020.
33 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora infections occurring in three Canadian provinces. Exposure to certain Fresh Express brand salad products containing iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage, has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak.
Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage produced by Fresh Express is a likely source of this outbreak.
CDC and FDA continue to investigate to determine which ingredient or ingredients in the salad mix was contaminated and whether other products are a source of illnesses. CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
Since the last case count update on June 26, 2020, 303 new laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections have been reported.
As of July 8, 2020, a total of 509 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections associated with this outbreak have been reported from 8 states: Illinois (151), Iowa (160), Kansas (5), Minnesota (63), Missouri (46) Nebraska (48), North Dakota (6), and Wisconsin (30).
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to July 1, 2020. Ill people range in age from 11 to 92 years with a median age of 60 and 53% are female. Of 506 people with available information, 33 people (7%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 4 to 6 weeks. If the number of cases reported by CDC is different from the number reported by state or local health officials, data reported by local jurisdictions should be considered the most up to date. Any differences may be due to the timing of reporting and website updates.
Additionally, the Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora infections occurring in three Canadian provinces where exposure to certain Fresh Express brand salad products containing iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage, has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak.