Just when we thought there was some good news about bagged salad mixes (see previous post) , here we go again. I don’t personally buy bagged salad greens, but it is still very important to wash any kind of lettuce thoroughly even if not pre-mixed. This time it appears that iceberg and romaine lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage could have been involved. There may be other sources out there, since the salad greens were only implicated in some of the outbreaks.
In the late 1990’s, a cluster of intestinal disease in the U.S. was linked to eating imported raspberries from Guatemala contaminated with Cyclospora cayetanesis. In 2004 and 2005, outbreaks in several states sickened over 400 people after eating raw basil contaminated with the same parasite. How fresh produce becomes contaminated during outbreaks is not clear. Tainted water used for washing the produce or mishandling by someone whose hands are contaminated during shipping or processing is suspect. Possibly better provisions for hand washing in the fields and in the processing methods may help.