Cyclospora cayetanensis is an emerging food-borne parasitic pathogen that has been reported in many outbreaks in the U.S. since the 1990s. Human infection occurs when food or water contaminated with sporulated oocysts is consumed by the host. The food items implicated in these food infections are imported fresh produce such as: raspberries, basil, snow peas, and mesculin lettuce. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) published detailed food safety recommendations for growers and suppliers: “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables”. The CDC monitors the occurrence of cyclosporiasis and helps state health departments identify and investigate cyclosporiasis outbreaks to prevent additional cases of illness. Thorough washing of vegetables and fruits, especially those used in salads is strongly recommended.
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