On July 8, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issued a public heath notice regarding the outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to salad products. This is further to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) food recall warning issued on June 28 for certain Fresh Express brand salad products containing iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage that were distributed nationally in Canada.
The recalled salad products begin with lot code “Z177” or a lower number and have best before dates up to and including 20JUL08 – 20JUL14. For more information on the recalled product, please consult the CFIA website.
Canadians are advised not to eat the recalled products. Retailers and food service establishments are advised not to sell or serve the recalled products, or any items that may have been prepared or produced using these products.
PHAC is collaborating with provincial public health partners, CFIA and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Cyclospora infections occurring in three provinces. The outbreak appears to be ongoing, as recent illnesses continue to be reported to PHAC.
Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to certain Fresh Express brand salad products containing iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage, has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak. Some of the individuals who became sick reported having eaten Fresh Express brand salad products containing these ingredients before their illnesses occurred. The source of illness for the remaining individuals continues to be under investigation.
The CFIA is continuing its food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If additional products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated food recall warnings.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are also investigating a multi-state outbreak of Cyclospora infections that has been linked to bagged salad mixes containing iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage produced by Fresh Express.
Restaurants Canada will continue to provide updates, as necessary, as the investigation evolves.