Multistate cyclosporiasis outbreak may be linked to salad mix

July 31, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections.

According to reports from the CDC, multiple state health departments have reported Cyclospora infections. As of July 29, CDC has been notified of more than 372 cases of Cyclospora infection from the following 16 health departments: Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, New York City, and Ohio. It is not yet clear whether the cases reported are all part of the same outbreak. The states of Iowa and Nebraska have announced that their analysis indicates that the outbreak in those states is linked to a salad mix.

The FDA is following the strongest leads provided by the states and has prioritized the ingredients of the salad mix identified by Iowa for the traceback investigation, but is following other leads as well. In the traceback process, the traceback team identifies clusters of people made ill in separate geographic areas and works to trace the path of food eaten by those made ill to a common source. The FDA has dedicated a seven-person team at the headquarters level to solving this outbreak, and will augment this team as needed. Additionally, there are FDA specialists across the country in 10 field offices working on the outbreak.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite composed of one cell that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis. Cyclospora is acquired by people ingesting something—such as food or water—that was contaminated with the parasite.

Press release