On July 30, 2013, the states of Iowa and Nebraska announced that their analysis indicated that the outbreak in those states was linked to a salad mix. In follow-up to that announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing an update on its investigation.
The FDA traceback investigation has confirmed that the salad mix identified by Iowa and Nebraska as being linked to the outbreak of cyclosporiasis in those states was supplied to restaurants in those states by Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., a processor of foodservice salads. The FDA traceback investigation found that illness clusters at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants were traced to a common supplier, Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V.
FDA’s investigation has not implicated consumer packages sold in grocery stores.
Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. has been cooperating with all FDA requests during the investigation. The FDA and the firm will be conducting an environmental assessment of the firm’s processing facility in Mexico, to try to learn the probable cause of the outbreak and identify preventive controls to put in place to try and prevent a recurrence. The most recent inspection, in 2011, of the processing facility of Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. conducted by FDA found no notable issues. Additionally, as a result of the current investigation FDA is increasing its surveillance efforts on green leafy products exported to the U.S. from Mexico.
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services have announced that they believe the contaminated salad is no longer in the food supply in those states. The last date that someone reportedly became ill with cycloporiasis in Iowa was on July 1, and in Nebraska on July 2. The typical shelf life for a salad mix is up to 14 days.
It is not yet clear whether the cases reported from other states are all part of the same outbreak. The investigation of increased cases of cyclosporiasis in other states continues.