Produce Suspected Cause of Texas Cyclosporiasis Outbreak

August 19, 2013 — Over the weekend, health officials in Texas confirmed several additional cases of cyclosporiasis were confirmed in Texas, bringing the total number of cases to 267. The Cyclospora food poisoning outbreak has sickened approximately 600 people in 20 states, with Texas the hardest-hit state in the nation. Health officials in Texas suspect that contaminated produce is to blame for the outbreak, but no source has been confirmed.

According to a News 92FM report, Melanie Manville of Fort Bend County Health and Human Services stated “That is just where it is most commonly linked back to, is produce.”

There are clusters of dozens of illnesses in Tarrant and Dallas County. At least 59 cases of cyclosporiasis have also been confirmed in Fort Bend, Harris County, Galveston, Brazoria, Walker, and Victoria.

The first cyclospora lawsuits have been filed by a Texas woman who was sickened after eating at an Olive Garden in Addison. Another lawsuit was filed by a Texas mother and son who say they were sickened after eating at an Olive Garden in Lincoln, Nebraska. Laurenda Sanguinetti and her son, Richard Sanguinetti, are from Midlothian, Texas. They filed their lawsuit against Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Olive Garden.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed on August 2 that they traced the outbreak in Nebraska and Iowa to pre-packaged bagged salad mixes from Taylor Farms de Mexico, which were sold at Olive Gardens and Red Lobsters in two states. However, Darden Restaurants denied using produce from Taylor Farms in restaurants in Texas.

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