Health officials in Iowa and Nebraska have identified bagged salad mix as the source of a Cyclospora outbreak. However, federal authorities say it’s not clear whether Cyclospora outbreaks elsewhere in the United States are also linked to bagged salads.
Cyclospora is a rare parasite that causes lengthy gastrointestinal illness and other flu-like symptoms. Outbreaks of the illness have sickened scores of people in Iowa, Nebraska, and beyond, reports CNN.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 372 cases of the Cyclospora infection have been reported in 15 states: Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey and Ohio, according to Food Poison Journal.
Most of the illness onset dates have ranged from mid-June to early July. At least 21 people have been hospitalized in three states.
Victims may be able to file a food poisoning lawsuit in order to seek damages for medical expenses, lost income, as well as pain and suffering. In some extreme situations, victims may also be able to seek compensation for emotional distress.
But to file a successful lawsuit, it is essential to first determine the cause of the outbreak. Unfortunately for victims, state health departments are still working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC to pinpoint a cause.
Iowa, Nebraska Hardest Hit
Still, the Cyclospora outbreak has hit Iowa and Nebraska especially hard. More than 178 people have fallen ill in these states since last month, reports CNN.
Authorities in both states believe a bagged blend of iceberg and romaine lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots is to blame.
Nebraska's tainted products came through national distribution channels. Though sellers anywhere within the salad mix distribution chain could face liability for food poisoning injuries, it has yet to be determined where the product was sold or under what brand name.
If you're in Iowa, don't trash your salad mix and opt for the Atkins diet just yet. The tainted product is apparently no longer on grocers' shelves and is no longer in the state's food supply chain, according to the head of Iowa's food and consumer safety bureau.If you think you may be a victim of the Cyclospora outbreak, you may want to call an attorney and see if you can get compensation for your injuries.