August 5th, 2013
12:38 PM ET

Tainted Salad Served Served in Iowa & Nebraska Traced to Mexican Produce Facility

The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration are now much closer to solving the mystery behind the cyclospora outbreak that has sickened hundreds in 16 states.

“Federal authorities say they know the source of tainted salad mix that has sickened more than 200 people in Nebraska and Iowa since mid-June,” reports CNN's Athena Jones.

According to the FDA, a pre-packaged salad mix supplied by Taylor Farms of Mexico and served in Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants is responsible for the cyclospora infections in those states.

“This morning they're investigating if it's linked to 200 additional cases in 14 other states,” which food safety expert Caroline Smith Dewaal says may take some time.

“This could be one outbreak where the trace back isn't complete yet, or it could be multiple outbreaks and FDA is still tracking down all of the food source,” Dewaal says.

Taylor Farms of Mexico says it is cooperating fully with the FDA in their ongoing investigation,” Jones reports.

The company said in a statement, "Taylor Farms de Mexico assesses and tests all water sources, raw product fields; every lot, every day for any risk to our valued customers' products. We are redoubling and enhancing our testing and scrutiny in these areas to further assure food safety."

According to the company, “The product shipped in June is no longer in the supply chain and bagged salad is safe to eat,” Jones reports.

“The expert we talked to said the fact that this is now being found in this part of Mexico is a big deal," Jones says, "because the US market has long-relied on this region to supply leafy salad greens at certain times of year.”

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