FDA links stomach bug in 2 states to Mexican farm

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration says an outbreak of stomach illnesses in Iowa and Nebraska is linked to salad mix served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in those states and supplied by a Mexican farm.

The outbreak of cyclospora infections has sickened more than 400 people in 16 states. The agency says it is working to determine whether the salad mix is the source of illnesses in the other 14 states.

“It is not yet clear whether the cases reported from other states are all part of the same outbreak,” the agency said in a statement. “The investigation of increased cases of cyclosporiasis in other states continues.”

Both Olive Garden and Red Lobster are owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants. In a statement, the company questioned the FDA findings, saying it has “no reason to believe that anyone was exposed to cyclospora in any of our restaurants.”

“We have done extensive trace-backs on all our produce, including looking at analyses of the irrigation water used in our suppliers’ growing fields, and there are no issues or concerns with any of the products we use,” said Darden spokesman Mike Bernstein.

The FDA said it traced illnesses from the restaurants in Nebraska and Iowa to Taylor Farms de Mexico, a processor of food service salads based in Salinas, Calif. The company, which has a branch about 180 miles north of Mexico City in San Miguel de Allende, did not immediately return calls.

The agency said its investigation has not implicated packaged salad sold in grocery stores.

The salad mix may be out of the commercial food chain as the most recent known illness in those two states was in Nebraska a month ago. The typical shelf life for a salad mix is up to 14 days.

There have been more recent illnesses in other states. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most recent illness was July 23.

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

John Miller, congressman, author activist, has died

He was known for his dedication to the marine industry, energy and human rights.

Church takes a quiet, contemplative approach to worship

Alternative services at First Congregational Church of Maltby offer “a good deal of silence.”

Search on for mildly autistic boy in Lynnwood

Six-year-old was last seen in his home around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Funds up for council vote would aid conservation district

District stands to receive an extra $1 million each year, if the County Council gives its approval.

Snohomish County hosts its annual Focus on Farming conference

The event features a trade show as well as talks on agriculture, jam-making and more.

Supportive housing for man accused in attacking his mother

Mental state impaired man’s ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, judge rules.

Lynnwood mayor challenged by councilman in general election

Three City Council members also are facing challengers on the Nov. 7 ballot.

‘Horrific’ child-porn case: Former Arlington man sentenced

Raymond Devore, arrested in 2015, had a cache of disturbing photos and video on his cellphone.

Most Read