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Packaged Salad Mix Source of Cyclospora
Updated: Tuesday, July 30 2013, 02:31 PM CDT
DES MOINES, IA (KCCI) -Iowa Department of Health officials said Tuesday that prepackaged salad mix is the likely source of the recent cyclospora outbreak.
On Monday, 143 confirmed cases of cyclospora had been reported in Iowa. Steven Mandernach, chief of the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, said epidemiological data and food history interviews conducted with ill Iowans links a bagged salad mix with the foodborne illness.
"The evidence points to a salad mix containing iceberg and romaine lettuce, as well as carrots and red cabbage as the source of the outbreak reported in Iowa and Nebraska," Mandernach said.
"Iowans should continue eating salads as the implicated prepackaged mix is no longer in the state’s food supply chain."
The investigation found an exposure to a common prepackaged salad mix from a single source in approximately 80 percent of the cases.
Officials have not named a specific brand name in the investigation.
"Because it can take more than a week for the first symptoms to appear after ingesting the contaminated food, there wasn't a product on the shelf to be examined for the parasite. As a result, most of the foodborne illness investigation focused on trying to trace-back suspected food products through the food chain," Mandernach said.
Iowa health officials continue to work with local health departments, other states, Centers for Disease Control and FDA on the investigation.