Some salads and wraps that are sold by several large retailers have been recalled due to concerns over Cyclospora parasites in romaine lettuce. The products in question originate from Caito Foods LLC in Indianapolis. Health officials cited that the items exposed to contamination were beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products. The biggest name carriers of these products are Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Gordon Food Services, Pick ‘n Save, and Walgreens, according to TMJ 4. The recall is for products that were produced between July 15-18 and marked with best when used by dates that range from July 18-23. If for someone reason the expiration date is unreadable, consumers can also check the area next to the USDA mark of inspection to see if the product has the establishment number “EST.39985” or “P-39985.”
The full list of products that fall under this recall is very lengthy and can be viewed at the USDA website. Caito Foods was notified by their lettuce vendor, Fresh Express, that their lettuce had been recalled, prompting the Caito Foods recall. While the best when used by date has already passed, their concern is that not everyone follows that date strictly, seeing it as more of a suggestion. The wraps and salads appearing on the USDA list were distributed nationwide, meaning this is a full recall and not limited to a specific region of the country.
Consumers that have any of the products listed on the USDA website for this recall are encouraged to throw them out. This outbreak is the same parasite that recently caused 286 lab-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in people who ate at McDonald’s in 10 states, according to CBS. This is the second reported major outbreak of Cyclospora in the U.S. over the past three weeks. The FDA is working to find if the parasite is arriving from one source or several.
Cyclospora is a parasite that lives in humans with a life-cycle that can last up to 14 days, causing an infection, diarrhea, and vomiting. When the parasite is present on food that is consumed, it can cause moderate to severe intestinal cramping which is called cyclosporiasis. Even when the parasite has been passed via feces, it can still be viable for four to five days. Direct transmission from person to person is possible, but not very common.
#FDA recently confirmed the presence of cyclospora in Fresh Express salad mix used primarily in recalled McDonald’s salads sold before 7/13. No product should currently be available for consumers as it has exceeded its shelf life. https://t.co/BRFz48Lgfj— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) August 1, 2018
While cyclosporiasis is not a fatal condition, it can aggravate other existing intestinal conditions, so caution should be exercised. The condition can be treated with an antibiotic administered under the supervision of a trained and licensed medical professional. Caito Foods, who was also recently identified as being the source of a recall involving a pre-cut melon salmonella outbreak in nine states, has not commented on the issue other than to reiterate the guidelines of the FDA recall.