FDA investigating intestinal parasite outbreak likely linked to Aldi, Jewel, Hy-Vee bagged salads

Federal authorities are cautioning consumers to avoid certain bagged salads from Aldi, Jewel-Osco and Hy-Vee as they investigate a Cyclospora outbreak that has already sickened 76 people across the Midwest.

In a June 19 statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an investigation into a multi-state outbreak of the intestinal parasite potentially linked to Aldi Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad from Aldi grocery stores, Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad from Hy-Vee grocery stores and Signature Farms Brand Garden Salad from Jewel-Osco.

According to the Chicago Tribune, both Jewel-Osco and Hy-Vee recalled their store-branded packaged garden salads, which are manufactured by Fresh Express, over the weekend, and the FDA confirmed Monday that Aldi has removed its Little Salad Bar Garden Salads from store shelves.

The 76 illnesses confirmed in six Midwestern states to date were reported between mid-May and mid-June, requiring hospitalization for 16 people, the Tribune reported.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, people become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with human feces that contain the parasite. Symptoms, the most common of which are bouts of watery diarrhea, typically appear within one week of exposure and can also include loss of appetite, weight loss, cramping, nausea, fatigue and low-grade fever.

Cyclospora infections can be treated with antibiotics, the health department confirmed.

Preliminary findings indicate the potentially tainted Jewel-Osco salads were sold in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa; Aldi’s salads were sold in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri; and the Hy-Vee salads were sold in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, the FDA confirmed.