If you think you've bought some, read on for the details
The USDA has issued another public heath alert about products that may have been contaminated with Cyclospora cayetanensis, an intestinal parasite known for causing diarrhea and other unfortunate symptoms. If you’ve recently bought a prepackaged wrap or salad from Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Walgreen’s, or other retailers, you should probably read further.
According to an announcement from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the alert includes “beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap items” that were distributed by the Indianapolis-based Caito Foods LLC, but were sold nationwide under a variety of different brand names. All the effected items “were produced between July 15 to 18, 2018, with the either ‘Best By,’ ‘Enjoy by,’ ‘Best if Sold By’ or ‘Sell By’ dates ranging from July 18 through July 23, 2018.” Yes, all of those dates have since passed, but the FSIS also warns, “The incubation period for Cyclospora ranges from two to 14 days, which would include the dates of July 25 through August 6, 2018.”
FSIS has posted links to labels and other information for all the specific products in question on its website, but the brands include names like Garden Highway, Good & Delish, Boar’s Head, Trader Giotto’s, Trader Joe’s, Trader Ming’s, and Good to Go, along with a number of plain-labeled, non-branded items. Keep in mind that not all products with these labels were affected: Only about 28 wraps and salads in total are part of the warning. However, if you still have any of these items, you’re told to either dispose of them or return them to the place of purchase.
Though Caito Foods is the distributor behind these products, USA Today reports that the potential contamination is actually part of a larger issue with the company’s lettuce provider, Fresh Express. That provider was the reason that McDonald’s choose to stop selling salads at about 3,000 locations last month, also due to possible Cyclospora contamination. That outbreak reportedly sickened over 160 people in ten states before being contained. All that being said, this latest incident isn’t a first for Caito Foods either: USA Today reports that the company was tied to a salmonella outbreak in June.
Overall, though, from producer to distributor to retailer, it’s not like these incidents are isolated to these companies and brands: Increasingly, public health warnings and recalls seem to be a part of a global food industry where items are shipped from all over and are passed through more hands. Needless to say, you don’t want to get overly paranoid. But at the very least, if you have a potentially contaminated wrap in your fridge, you should definitely throw it away.