The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tied the recent outbreak of cyclospora to the Taylor Farm in Mexico; tying them to tainted packaged leafy greens distributed to Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in two states.
Approximately 400 people in 17 states have been affected with food-like poisoning symptoms when they consumed the tainted greens.
Taylor Farms de Mexico has been identified as at least one of the sources of a salad mix that was supplied to restaurant chains in Iowa and Nebraska. U.S. food inspectors are en route to Mexico to determine what caused the food to become tainted and to see if Taylor is responsible for the other cases of cyclosporiasis. Taylor does not supply Olive Garden’s and Red Lobster’s in Texas where there were 113 cases reported. Iowa reported 146 cases of cyclospora and Nebraska 81.
Taylor Farms de Mexico is owned by U.S.-based Taylor Farms that operates 12 Mexican facilities. Only the farm in San Miguel de Allende outside of Mexico City is implicated in the food poisoning.
The cyclosporiasis infection is caused by ingesting food or water containing a one-celled parasite that is too small to be detected without a microscope. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Cyclospora needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person.
The FDA announced it will also increase surveillance of leafy greens being imported from Mexico not just from the Taylor Farms de Mexico.