Hundreds of people in Nebraska and Iowa are sick with a stomach bug, which health officials claim is probably linked to something we all assume is super-healthy: salad! Specifically, a "prewashed," prepackaged salad mix -- containing iceberg, romaine, red cabbage and carrot -- that was distributed nationally to groceries and restaurants. Health authorities think it tipped off this outbreak of Cypress 4, or cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness tied to a rare type of parasite called cyclospora, which was reportedly blamed for at least 250 people falling ill in 13 other states! Loooovely, eh?
About 80 percent of the at least 145 cases in Iowa could be traced back to the salad. Meanwhile, at least 78 people have come down with the bug in Nebraska -- and five have been hospitalized as a result. Health officials say new cases are being reported daily. And 122 cyclospora cases in Texas might be related, too, that state's department of health services said. Gross! And so scary!
The CDC says it's not clear if the salad is to blame for the cases previously reported in Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Ohio. But in the meantime, the FDA is reportedly investigating what people in states affected before Nebraska and Iowa ate, but they say it's "labor intensive and painstaking work, requiring the collection, review, and analysis of hundreds and at times thousands of invoices and shipping documents." Uh huh ...
State and federal authorities are also still trying to determine exactly where the product was sold or under what brand name, according to CNN. So, there's no recall in effect just yet. Fantastic. The Nebraska alert noted that it "came through national distribution channels" and that "locally grown produce is not part of this outbreak." Well, that's certainly a case for being a locavore, right? Then again, I guess contamination happens to all sorts of produce! So much for all greens bein' nothin' but good for ya!
Does this freak you out?