Cyclospora outbreak in 16 states traced to tainted lettuce from Mexico

by Eric Pearson

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that a recent outbreak of cyclospora was caused by a salad mix sold to Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants by the Mexican subsidiary of a U.S. food service company. The salad mix, containing iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red cabbage and carrots, was produced by Taylor Farms de Mexico, a subsidiary of Taylor Farms of Salinas, California. The FDA will be conducting an environmental assessment of the firm’s processing facility in Mexico to try to learn the cause of the outbreak, which began in Iowa and Nebraska.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, since it began, the outbreak has spread to more than 400 people in 16 states. More than 140 Cyclosopora cases have been found in Texas alone, centered in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Other states reporting cases of cyclospora include Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, Arkansas and Wisconsin.

Cyclospora is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the rare Cyclospora cayetanensis parasite. The ailment causes symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss and nausea that can last anywhere from a few days to more than a month. The CDC has identified the following list of symptoms to look for:

  • Watery diarrhea (most common)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Increased gas
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Low-grade fever

Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important. If a person ill with cyclospora is not treated, symptoms can persist for several weeks to a month or more.

If you or a loved one has been infected with this illness, you may have important legal rights. Heygood, Orr & Pearson has the experience and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve. To receive a free legal consultation and find out if you are eligible to file a product liability lawsuit, please call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001, or fill out our free case evaluation form located on this page.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.