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Stop! Before you make that pesto sauce or use that basil in your ratatouille, check your stock. News has just broken that 132 people are sick with cyclospora linked to fresh basil imported from Mexico. Here is everything we know about this Basil Cyclospora Outbreak:
The FDA has announced that they “along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora illnesses potentially linked to fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico.”
Although the investigation is ongoing, CDC’s analysis of epidemiologic information indicates that contaminated fresh basil is the likely cause of the illnesses. FDA’s traceback investigation indicates that the fresh basil available at points of sale where consumers became ill was exported to the United States by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico. FDA has requested a voluntary recall and the firm has agreed. FDA has increased import screening on basil and will continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak as well as the distribution of products.
Here is what we currently know:
It is likely that more cases will be linked to this outbreak. This is because it takes several weeks from the time of reporting to confirming the link.
We have also learned from the CDC that illnesses started on dates ranging from June 14, 2019 to July 9, 2019. ll people ranged in age from 19 to 98 years with a median age of 54. Of 96 people with available information, 74 % were female.
Not yet. But soon. According to the FDA’s website:
” [The] FDA is working with the firm to facilitate a recall. As this outbreak investigation continues, the FDA will work with our Mexican food safety regulatory counterparts to better define the cause and source of this outbreak. Additionally, the FDA will update this advisory as more information becomes available.”
Thus far, the FDA has requested a voluntary recall of basil products exported by Siga logistics de RL de CV and the firm has agreed to initiate a recall.
In the meantime, the FDA recommends that you should not to buy, eat, or serve any fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico. Not sure of where your basil is from? Don’t eat it!
Also, do not eat or serve uncooked dishes using basil (like pesto or salad), that may include fresh basil from Mexico — unless you are certain that the fresh basil was not exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV.
Nationwide, 32 states are reporting cyclospora illnesses this year – not necessarily related to this outbreak. According to the latest from the CDC, “As of July 23, 2019, 580 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis were reported to CDC by 30 states, District of Columbia and New York City in people who became ill since May 1, 2019 and who had no history of international travel during the 14-day period before illness onset…multiple clusters of cases associated with different restaurants or events are being investigated by state public health authorities, CDC, and FDA.”
It is important to note that a lot of cases of cyclosporiasis could not be directly linked to an outbreak. The CDC says this is in part because of the lack of validated molecular typing tools for C. cayetanensis.
People become infected with Cyclospora by ingesting sporulated oocysts. According to the CDC, “this most commonly occurs when food or water contaminated with feces is consumed. An infected person sheds unsporulated (immature, non-infective) Cyclospora oocysts in the feces. The oocysts are thought to require at least 1–2 weeks in favorable environmental conditions to sporulate and become infective. Therefore, direct person-to-person transmission is unlikely, as is transmission via ingestion of newly contaminated food or water.”
Past outbreaks of cyclospora have been traced to imported produce and herbs.
Understanding how Cyclospora infection is transmitted, a person can take control of the life cycle and successfully avoid becoming infected.
The FDA also recommends:
The Lange Law Firm –www.MakeFoodSafe.com
Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food or water. When corporations cause Cyclospora food poisoning outbreaks or Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable. The Lange Law Firm is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on representing families in food poisoning lawsuits and Legionnaires disease lawsuits.
If you or your child was infected with Cyclospora or any other parasite after eating at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we have a Cyclospora lawyer ready to help you. Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.
By: Candess Zona-Mendola, Editor (Non-Lawyer)