The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is issuing a public health alert surrounding beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products sold at a number of major grocery store chains amid concerns about contamination with Cyclospora.
The products were distributed by Caito Foods LLC, an Indianapolis, Ind. establishment, and were produced between July 15 to 18, 2018, with the either “Best By,” “Enjoy by,” Best if Sold By” or “Sell By” dates ranging from July 18 through July 23, 2018. Nationwide, Kroger’s, Walgreens and Trader Joe’s sold the wraps and salads.
The problem was discovered when Caito Foods LLC received notification from their lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, that the chopped romaine that is used to manufacture some of their salads and wraps was being recalled.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators and that consumers may be at risk due to the length of the Cyclospora incubation period.
The Cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness. Symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite. They can include diarrhea and frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are infected might also experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas and fatigue. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms can also occur.
The illness can last a few days to a few months, and patients might feel better, but then get worse again. Cyclosporiasis can be treated with antibiotics.
Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider. Cyclospora infection is an illness cause by the intestinal parasite, Cyclospora cayetanensis. The incubation period for Cyclospora ranges from two to 14 days, which would include the dates of July 25 through August 6, 2018. Illnesses might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. For Cyclospora infections this could take up to six weeks.
Consumers are being urged to throw the products away. A complete list of products, product labels, the UPC code numbers and other identifying information can be found here.