(UPATED July 26) The Food and Drug Administration has named Mexican basil served at restaurants in four states as the likely source of a multi-state outbreak of 132 cyclospora illnesses.
The FDA is advising consumers to avoid fresh basil from Siga Logistics de RL de CV, Morelos, Mexico, and for restaurants, retailers, distributors, importers and suppliers not to sell or serve its basil. If they are unsure of the source, they should not “sell, serve or distribute the fresh imported basil,” according to a July 25 notice from the FDA.
The agency is working with the company to facilitate a recall, according to the notice posted on the FDA’s website.
“As this outbreak investigation continues, the FDA will work with our Mexican food safety regulatory counterparts to better define the cause and source of this outbreak,” according to the notice.
Of the 132 people with Cyclospora infections, four have been hospitalized.
The FDA reported the restaurants linked to the illnesses are in Florida, Minnesota, N.Y., and Ohio.
The names of the restaurants have not been released; the agency didn’t report if they are part of a restaurant chain or are independent foodservice operators.
The cases in the outbreak from Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
The New York State Department of Health has confirmed 69 cases of cyclosporiasis in people who ate at restaurants or attended events in the Albany region, according to a news release from the department.
Three foodservice operations were initially identified after interviewing ill people, but officials found more locations during the investigation, providing “strong evidence” to support the FDA’s advisory, according to the release.
The illnesses started on dates ranging from June 14 to July 9, according to the New York release.
The Packer has contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to verify whether the Mexican basil is related to a Cyclospora outbreak being investigated by Massachusetts and Virginia public health departments.