Salad Plant Blamed for Cyclospora Outbreak Suspends Production

By Hayley Bruce, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A salad plant under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration after being traced to a cyclospora outbreak that sickened more than 100 Iowans announced Monday that it has voluntarily suspended production.

According to a release from the FDA, Taylor Farms De Mexico decided to suspend production and shipment of all salad mix, leafy green, or salad mix components on Aug. 9. The company said it will not resume production and shipping of its products until it has the clear from the FDA.

As of Monday afternoon, salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico had only been connected to cyclospora cases in Iowa and Nebraska. As of Aug. 1, there were 146 reported cases in Iowa. Cases have also been reported in more than 15 other states.

Though cyclospora has only been traced to salad mix from the farm, the release said the company's decision to cease production and shipment goes beyond that to include iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots.

If untreated, the parasite can cause watery diarrhea for an average of 57 days. The illness is typically diagnosed by stool sample.

Two people who ate at restaurants in Iowa that claim they were sickened by the salad mix have filed federal lawsuits against the farm, as well as Darden Corporation -- which owns and operates nationwide chain restaurants that include Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Those suits seek to find the companies liable because they sold a defective product that was not safe to eat.
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