Texas cyclosporiasis cases not connected to Taylor Farms

August 26, 2013

According to an update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preliminary analysis of results from an investigation into a cluster of cyclosporiasis in Texas does not show a connection to Taylor Farms de Mexico.

On June 28, 2013, the CDC was notified of two laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection in Iowa residents who had become ill in June. As of August 23, the CDC had been notified of 610 ill persons with Cyclospora infection from 22 states. Public health officials in Iowa and Nebraska performed investigations within their states and concluded that restaurant-associated cases of Cyclospora infection in their states were linked to a salad mix produced by Taylor Farms de Mexico.

Public health investigators have interviewed ill people in Texas about their exposures during the two weeks before they became ill. The preliminary analysis of results from this ongoing cluster investigation in Texas does not show a connection to salad mix, leafy greens, and salad mix components produced at Taylor Farms de Mexico.

From August 11–19, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the cooperation of Taylor Farms de Mexico and Mexican government authorities conducted a thorough environmental assessment at the firm’s processing facility. The team also assessed five farms identified through traceback information from the outbreak investigation. The team found that conditions and practices at these facilities at the time of the assessment were in accordance with known food safety protocols. On August 25, Taylor Farms de Mexico resumed production and shipment of salad mix, leafy greens, and salad mix components to the United States. The firm had voluntarily ceased production and shipment of these products on August 9, 2013.

The findings in Texas differ from those from earlier investigations in Iowa and Nebraska. In those states investigators linked cyclosporiasis cases acquired after eating in one of multiple restaurants to eating a bagged salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico. It is not unusual to recognize outbreaks that happen in the same season but are due to different foods. As in 2013 and in years past, most cases and outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the United States are detected in spring and summer months. Not all cases during the same time of year are necessarily caused by the same exposure.

Although the investigation of cases in 2013 is ongoing, available evidence suggests that not all of the cases of cyclosporiasis in the various states are directly related to each other. The CDC continues to work with state and local partners and the FDA to investigate clusters of illness, food exposures, and sources of food items.

Press release