In about mid-June of 2020, health officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a number of state and local health agencies, had begun investigating an outbreak of cyclospora infections in the midwestern United States. According to the CDC, epidemiological evidence quickly led investigators to conclude that the source was bagged salad mix. The Cyclospora-tainted salad mix had been widely distributed, and at that time, the authorities had identified the retail outlets to include ALDI, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco grocery stores.
On June 20, 2020, after becoming aware that some of its products were tainted with cyclospora, Hy-Vee and Jewel-Osco issued recalls for bagged salad products sold in several Midwestern states. Hy-Vee recalled external icon Hy-Vee brand 12-ounce bagged Garden Salad produced by Fresh Express. This product was sold in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Jewel-Osco, in cooperation with Fresh Express, recalled external icon Signature Farms brand 12-ounce bagged Garden Salad sold in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.
On June 22, 2020, after its product was also linked to illnesses, ALDI recalled 12-ounce bagged Little Salad Bar Garden Salad sold in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
By June 26th, the FDA, along with the CDC and state and local partners, had traced the cyclospora infections to salads containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots sold at retail establishments, including ALDI, Hy-Vee, Walmart, and Jewel-Osc, often as proprietary brands. The recall now included ALDI’s Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salads, Hy-Vee’s Garden Salad, Jewel-Osco’s Signature Farms Garden Salad, and Walmart’s Marketside Classic Iceberg Salads.
The FDA went on to announce its conclusion that that Fresh Express was the manufacturer of each of these recalled salads. According to the CDC, “Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage produced by Fresh Express is a likely source of this outbreak.”
By September 24, 2020, the CDC confirmed a total of 701 people with laboratory confirmed cyclospora infections associated with this outbreak in 14 states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to July 24, 2020. Ill people ranged in age from 11 to 92 years with a median age of 57 and 51% were female. At least 38 people were hospitalized.
Statute of Limitations:
For some individuals, the statute of limitations in their state may have already run, meaning they can ono longer bring a claim to the court. For minors in most states, and many other victims, there is enough time to bring a claim – though the window may be closing.
Ron Simon & Associates recommends anyone who got Cyclospora in the last couple of years call us to discuss possible legal options for recovery of damages.