Bagged salad caused parasite outbreak, states say
17 hours ago
Health officials in Iowa and Nebraska on Tuesday tagged prepackaged salad mix as the source for an outbreak of parasite-borne food poisoning in those states even as federal officials worked to see if the conclusion applies elsewhere as well.
Iowa’s top food inspector, Steven Mandernach, said that bagged salad was behind the cyclospora outbreak that has sickened at least 143 people in that state and another 78 in Nebraska. Overall, at least 372 people in 15 states have been sickened by the rare parasite since June.
“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,” said Mandernach, chief of the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. “Iowans should continue eating salads as the implicated prepackaged mix is no longer in the state’s food supply chain.”
Nebraska officials also confirmed the source, a spokeswoman said, but neither state would name the brand or the producer of the bagged salad mix — and they would not say whether it was an imported or domestic product.
But it wasn’t yet clear whether the packaged salad was linked to other infections in other states, officials with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. At least 21 people have been hospitalized in connection with the outbreak.