US exports Cyclospora outbreak to Canada


The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has received reports of 37 confirmed cases of Cyclospora illnesses in Ontario (26), Quebec (10) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).

The infections developed between mid-May and mid-June. One person has been hospitalized.

PHAC considers the outbreak to be ongoing, as the agency continues to receive reports of recent illnesses.

At least some of the outbreak victims report having eaten certain Fresh Express brand salad products containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and carrots before they fell ill. The rest of the cases are still under investigation.

On June 29, 2020, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced a recall of twelve varieties of Fresh Express brand salad products, which had been imported from the USA.

At the time of the recall, no Canadian illnesses associated with these products had been reported to PHAC.

The salad mixes implicated in this outbreak, and in a concurrent 8-state outbreak in the US, were produced at the Fresh Express facility located in Streamwood, Illinois. FDA is conducting a detailed traceback investigation into the source of the contamination.

The Cyclospora outbreak in the US has spread to 8 midwestern states, and has sickened at least 509 individuals as of CDC’s most recent (July 9, 2020) update. Thirty-three people have been hospitalized.

Lab-confirmed cases have been reported in Illinois (151), Iowa (160), Kansas (5), Minnesota (63), Missouri (46) Nebraska (48), North Dakota (6), and Wisconsin (30).

The following companies have announced product recalls in the USA due to Cyclospora contamination. Please click on the links for additional information on recalled products.

The recalled products have been distributed nationwide across Canada and in the following US states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. 

Products may have been further distributed and sent to retailers in additional states, according to FDA.

Consumers in Canada and the USA should check their refrigerators and discard any recalled products with production codes beginning with lot code “Z177” or a lower number and have best before dates up to and including 20JUL08 – 20JUL14. This includes Fresh Express brand products in Canada and both Fresh Express and the above-mentioned store brands in the USA.

Symptoms of Cyclospora infection usually begin within one week of consuming a contaminated product and may include: watery diarrhea, abdominal bloating and gas, fatigue (tiredness), stomach cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss, mild fever, and/or nausea. Symptoms may disappear and then return over a period of several weeks without treatment.

If you think you may have eaten a recalled product and are experiencing these symptoms, please consult a health care professional without delay.





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