Over 200 Sickened By Del Monte Vegetable Trays
Del Monte-branded pre-packaged vegetable trays have been linked to a parasite that has sickened more than 200 people across the Midwest. Those affected have been diagnosed with cyclosporiasis, an intestinal infection caused by the cyclospora parasite. The earliest reported symptoms in this outbreak began on May 14 and the outbreak was first tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in mid-June.
The CDC said in a statement that 212 cases of the infection have been confirmed and seven people had been hospitalized. Those who are ill range in age from 13 to 79 years old. No deaths have occurred. The parasite can take days or weeks to pass through humans, so symptoms may have begun only recently.
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single-celled protozoa most commonly transmitted on produce contaminated with human fecal matter. Symptoms of infection include diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea. Vomiting, body aches, weight loss, and flu-like symptoms may also occur. Cyclosporiosis is usually not life threatening and is typically treated with antibiotics.
The contaminated trays, which contain fresh broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, carrots and dill dip, were sold in 6-, 12- and 28-ounce “clear, plastic clamshell containers” with a “Best If Enjoyed By” date of June 17, 2018. They were sold at Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, FoodMax and Peapod. The recalled products were sold in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The outbreak appears to be most severe in Wisconsin.
Consumers can identify the affected Del Monte pre-packaged vegetable trays by their UPC codes:
7 1752472715 2 for the 6 oz. tray
7 1752472518 9 for the 12 oz. tray
7 1752478604 3 for the 28 oz. tray
The vegetable trays should not be eaten and should be thrown away, as washing the contaminated produce is not enough to get rid of the parasite. The CDC’s investigation into the contaminated trays is ongoing.