WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an outbreak of parasitic infections affected more than 200 people in four upper Midwest states.
- The victims reportedly ate pre-packed vegetable trays under the Del Monte Fresh Produce brand.
- The vegetable trays were bought at various retailers including Kwik Trip or Kwik Star convenience stores.
The CDC initially tracked a parasite outbreak in mid-June that affected four states, with Wisconsin the most severely hit. In Minnesota, 54 cases have been reported along with a handful in Iowa and Michigan. The CDC said that at least seven victims have been hospitalized.
In mid-June, Del Monte recalled its vegetable trays, including broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, and dill dip, that were labeled “best if enjoyed by” June 17. However, reports of infections have increased since then. The CDC warned that additional cases could still be reported because “the cyclosporiasis infection has a delayed onset for symptoms of roughly one week and can last for weeks.”
Cyclosporiasis is caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis, a single-celled parasite most commonly transmitted on produce contaminated with human fecal matter, particularly from tropical or subtropical regions where the parasite is native, Fortune wrote.
Symptoms of cyclosporiasis infection include severe diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, bloating, and fatigue. If not treated, the victim remains infected for a few days to more than a month. Although it is not life-threatening, cyclosporiasis should be treated to prevent complications such as dehydration due to severe diarrhea.
In 2015, 546 people were affected by a major cyclosporiasis outbreak across 31 states. That outbreak was tied to contaminated cilantro from Mexico. No fatalities were reported then.
The CDC advised that anyone who might still have a recalled product should dispose of it. If the produce contaminated, is washing alone is not enough to get rid of the pathogen.