A traceback investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified several farms in the U.S. that may have provided products used in the Fresh Express salads that were recalled over Cyclospora.
Multiple farms in Florida were identified in the FDA traceback.
FDA analyzed water samples from two public access points along a regional water management canal (C-23), located west of Port St. Lucie, Florida. These samples tested positive for Cyclospora cayetanensis using FDA’s validated testing method.
Given the emerging nature of genetic typing methodologies for this parasite, the FDA was unable to determine if the Cyclospora detected in the canal is a genetic match to the clinical cases, therefore, there is currently not enough evidence to conclusively determine the cause of this outbreak.
Nevertheless, the current state of the investigation helps advance what the FDA knows about the Cyclospora outbreak and offers important clues to inform future preventive measures.
FDA is working with the state of Florida and the local water district in the area to try to further determine the source and impact of Cyclospora in the canal.
As of August 14, 2020, CDC is reporting a total of 690 cases across 13 states.
FDA’s traceback investigation is complete, however, the cause or source of the outbreak has not yet been determined via traceback. And based on the traceback, carrots are no longer being investigated for this outbreak. Two of the salad ingredients, red cabbage, and iceberg lettuce, continue to be items of interest in the investigation. As this outbreak investigation continues, the FDA will provide additional updates to this advisory.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety Website, click here.)