Salad Plant Back In Business

Cyclospora linked salad producer approved by FDA to resume production after environmental assessment

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) There are still many unknowns regarding the Cyclospora infections seen across the US this summer. But business is returning to normal for the salad company tied to outbreaks in Iowa and Nebraska.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Taylor Farms de Mexico has resumed production and shipping after being cleared by the FDA.

The FDA reminded the public that the investigation is still ongoing, and care should be taken to wash fresh produce carefully before eating.

"Wash all produce before eating. "

According to the latest counts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have now been 616 reported cases of cyclosporiasis (infection with the parasite Cyclospora) in 22 US states this summer. Forty-five hospitalizations have been reported and zero deaths have occurred. 

A salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico, which produces foodservice salads sold in Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants, was implicated in the Iowa and Nebraska Cyclospora outbreaks. In response, the company voluntarily halted production at the Mexico plant and stopped shipments to the US.

According to the FDA, a "thorough environmental assessment" of Taylor Farms de Mexico's processing facility and five farms connected to the outbreak was completed during August 11 through August 19. Taylor Farms and the Mexican government cooperated to allow the FDA's investigation. 

"The team found that conditions and practices observed at these facilities at the time of the assessment were in accordance with known food safety protocols," the FDA reported. Based on the assessment, the FDA agreed to Taylor Farms de Mexico resuming production and shipping.

"The firm has committed to a comprehensive Cyclospora sampling program for leafy green and other products from their farms and processing facility in Mexico," the FDA explained. "This will include both sampling of their products and water and continued monitoring of the sanitary conditions of their facilities."

The last known case of cyclosporiasis potentially tied to a Taylor Farms product was seen on July 2, which was more than five weeks before the FDA started the assessment at Taylor Farms de Mexico, said the FDA. 

The FDA also noted that the investigation is still ongoing and additional sources of Cyclospora across the US are still unknown.

Both the FDA and CDC urged the public to practice safe food handling measures, including the careful washing of produce, hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces.

Symptoms of cyclosporiasis include watery diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, nausea and fatigue. If not treated, the symptoms may seem to improve, only to return again, says the CDC. 

Review Date: 
August 29, 2013
Last Updated:
August 29, 2013