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Health Alert Issued After Parasites Found In Salads, Wraps At Major Grocery Chains

Trader Joe's

If you thought this summer seemed like it's become the season of recalls,  you'd be right, as you now have to add another couple of products to look out for.

On June 30, the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert that certain beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products might be contaminated with cyclospora.

What is cyclosporiasis?

Cyclospora parasites can cause cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness that can be traced back to contaminated food or water.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of cyclospora include diarrhea, cramping, bloating, nausea, fatigue, weight loss and appetite loss.

While it's typically not a life-threatening infection, untreated symptoms could "last for several weeks to a month or more," and then return. However, cyclosporiasis can be cured by antibiotics.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed the outbreak when the Indianapolis-based food distributor Caito Foods found the parasite in a sample of salad mix with romaine lettuce from its supplier, Fresh Express.

These food items have been sold at major grocery chains including Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Gordon Food Service, and Walgreen’s.

However, a statement released by Trader Joe's on June 30 confirmed there haven't been any reported illnesses associated with its products, and the items in questions are only sold in its Midwest locations.

Although these products (listed here) had expiry ranging from July 18 through July 23, the USDA is concerned the issue hasn't be reported yet either because the wraps and salad had properly refrigerated their food, which could extend its shelf life, or "might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported."

Buyers are urged not to consume the product, and to either throw them out or return the items back to the store of purchase.  

Not the first outbreak

This isn't the first time a cyclosporiasis outbreak has been reported this year.

In May, thousands of McDonald's salads, which were also supplied from Fresh Express, were recalled from its restaurants and distribution centers, primarily in the Midwest.

As of July 28, at total of 286 laboratory-confirmed illnesses from that outbreak, which can be traced back to locations in Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Make sure everyone stays safe by sharing this warning!

[H/T: CNN, TIME]

Maya has been working at Shared for 11 Months. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com