Pre-packaged salads are being blamed for a parasite outbreak that has left nearly 400 people across the country with a stomach illness, including here in Kansas.
Kansas has seen two cases so far and health officials in Iowa and Nebraska believe the cause is linked to pre-packaged salads. It’s called the Cyclospora Parasite and it has popped up in 15 states.
Health officials say it’s coming from mixed salad included iceberg and romaine lettuce along with red cabbage and carrots.
The bug could cause fatigue, cramps and weeks or months of intestinal pain and discomfort.
The FDA is still investigating on whether the bagged salad is the cause in other cases around the country.
The Senior Epidemiologist for the state Sheri Tubach says she believes the threat has passed.
“Cyclospora outbreaks are extremely rare and they occur very infrequently and so the risk to the average consumer is really fairly low. The bagged lettuce due to it’s limited shelf life is now off the market and we really don’t have any reasons to suspect that any of that implicated product was ever distributed in Kansas.”
Health officials in Kansas say they are working closely with other state officials to figure out how these breakout cases are connected.
Tubach says it’s not known what brands are affected but many stores in the state have taken old salads off the shelves and replaced them with new products.