July 31, 2013 — Public health officials in Nebraska and Iowa have linked pre-packaged bagged salad mixes to an outbreak of food poisoning that has sickened at least 378 people in 15 states. The infections are caused by Cyclospora, a parasite that spreads when fecal matter contaminates food or water. The illness, cyclosporiasis, is not usually fatal but causes severe gastrointestinal illness for an average of 57 days.
The Iowa Department of Public Health issued this statement (PDF) to announce that at least 80% of the 143 infections in Iowa were exposed to the same pre-packaged salad mix. The brand of salad mix was not identified. However, the product contained iceberg and romaine lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage.
Officials believe that the contaminated salad mixes are no longer on store shelves. The epi curve for the outbreak indicates that new cases peaked in mid-June and have tapered off, possibly because perishable salad mixes have been eaten or discarded by now. However, the CDC cautions that it is unclear whether cases linked to the mixed salad in Iowa and Nebraska are part of the larger outbreak.
Cyclospora infections, also known as “cyclosporiasis,” are caused by a parasite that is rare in North America, but common in tropical and sub-tropical countries. In the past, outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to produce imported from these regions.
Symptoms of cyclospora infection include:
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Intestinal gas
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle aches
- Low-grade fever
Do I have a Texas Cyclospora Lawsuit?
The Texas trial lawyers with The Schmidt Firm, PLLC are currently accepting Cyclospora and/or Cyclosporiasis lawsuits throughout the entire state of Texas. If you or somebody you know was sickened after eating at Olive Garden or Red Lobster, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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