Cilantro implicated again in cyclospora outbreak - The Packer

Cilantro implicated again in cyclospora outbreak

08/29/2014 12:51:00 PM
Mike Hornick

The Mexican state of Puebla is for the second time in two years the source of fresh cilantro linked to a cyclospora outbreak in Texas, according to federal and state health officials.

The outbreak appears to have ended, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services report. Most of the illnesses began after May 1 and peaked in June and July, when the bulk of 126 cases occurred.

North Texas was hardest hit.

Sampling of cilantro at the Mexico border has been increased, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Aug. 28.

It is unknown whether all the illnesses are tied to cilantro. But investigations at four as yet unnamed restaurants in Texas linked to 21 victims found all of them reported eating an item with cilantro two to 14 days before becoming sick. Tracebacks identified Puebla, Mexico as the point of origin.

While the investigation has not found samples of cilantro contaminated with cyclospora, there is sufficient evidence to establish a link, according to state and federal officials.

Investigations are ongoing, but so far there is no evidence to suggest illnesses outside of Texas are linked to cilantro from Puebla, Mexico, according to the CDCP.

In the summer of 2013, Texas reported 278 cases of cyclospora parasite infection. A link was found to Puebla, Mexico cilantro. The CDCP did not name a company or grower, but reported in October that cyclospora cases in Texas were not related to foodservice salad mixes from Taylor Farms de Mexico. Taylor Farms salad mixes were still linked to cyclospora infections in Iowa and Nebraska.

In response to that outbreak, the FDA said it was increasing surveillance of cilantro at the border.



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