A bagged salad mix has been implicated as the source of the stomach bug outbreak that has sickened more than 370 people in at least 16 states, health officials announced Tuesday.
Food inspectors in Nebraska and Iowa, where the most cases have been reported, said a bagged salad mix caused the cyclospora epidemic sweeping the country, though they wouldn’t name the brand or producer.
In Iowa, investigators found that a salad mix was the common denominator in 80 percent of cases, according to NBC News
. In Nebraska, the bagged salad was tagged in 85 percent of cases.
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"The evidence points to a salad mix containing iceberg and romaine lettuce, as well as carrots and red cabbage as the source of the outbreak reported in Iowa and Nebraska," Steven Mandernach, chief of the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, told NBC News. "Iowans should continue eating salads as the implicated prepackaged mix is no longer in the state's food supply chain."
But the Food and Drug Administration has yet to confirm the link
between the bagged salad and all of the 372 cases reported nationwide.
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"FDA will continue to work with its federal, state and local partners in the investigation to determine whether this conclusion applies to the increased number of cases of cyclosporiasis in other states," the agency said in a statement. "The goal will be to combine information collected from other affected states with that provided by the state health authorities in Iowa to identify a specific food item linked to the illnesses."
The cyclospora sickness is a one-celled parasite that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, and other stomach bug symptoms.
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