WebMD News Brief

Intestinal Illness Linked to Imported Fresh Basil

fresh basil

Aug. 19, 2019 -- The FDA and CDC are investigating an outbreak of cyclospora illnesses linked to fresh basil imported from Mexico.

The outbreak across 11 states is linked to 205 illnesses, including 5 hospitalizations. The states affected are outbreak, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. People were exposed to the basil in restaurants in five of those states: Florida, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The basil was exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV in Mexico. The company recalled the basil on July 24.

Consumers should avoid eating basil, pesto, or other uncooked items from this company. If you’re not sure where the basil is from, you should avoid eating basil from Mexico. If you do not know what country it’s from, you should avoid eating any basil.

Cyclospora is a parasite that usually causes diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, gas, nausea, and fatigue. People usually become sick about a week after they are infected, generally from contaminated food or water. Without treatment, the illness can last a few days or a month or longer.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on August 19, 2019

Sources

FDA: “Outbreak Investigation of Cyclospora Illnesses Linked to Imported Fresh Basil, July 2019.”

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