For new information, please see "Taylor Farms suspends Mexican operations linked to cyclospora"
The salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. linked to a cyclospora parasite outbreak hasn’t been in the supply chain for weeks, but illnesses continue to be diagnosed with more than 500 cases reported across 16 states.
The Food and Drug Administration named the packaged salad from the Mexican facility operated by Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms on Aug. 2 as the source for infections in Iowa and Nebraska. In that announcement, FDA officials said they are increasing surveillance efforts on green leafy products exported to the U.S. from Mexico.
The Mexican facility exclusively provides fresh-cut and value-added products for the foodservice industry, according to a statement on the Taylor Farms website. Health officials traced Iowa and Nebraska infections back to a salad mix served at Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants in those states.
Bruce Taylor, who helped found Taylor Farms in 1995 and is chief executive officer, said on Aug. 8 the salad mix was distributed to all 16 states that have cyclospora cases, as well as other states that do not. He said the salad mix was sent to 14 different distributors.
Taylor said the facility in Mexico did not stop shipping and is continuing to operate because no cyclospora has been found there and the implicated lots of salad mix have been out of the supply chain for weeks.
“We’ve probably done more than 60 tests in Mexico and we haven’t found any cyclospora at the plant, in the water, in seedlings or any place,” Taylor said. “We checked with Mexican authorities and they don’t have any reports of (cyclospora) cases in the area around our plant there.”
Taylor said his company built the plant in Mexico six years ago. It and the company’s other 11 facilities in North America all use Taylor Farms’ proprietary food wash SmartWash, but Taylor said as far as he knows it is not effective against cyclospora because it is a parasite, not bacteria.