Buy Local Produce Instead of Imported Where Possible
Public health officials are warning of an outbreak of the intestinal parasite cyclospora, commonly found in imported produce and causing food poisoning-like symptoms.
So far 83 cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ontario, B.C., Quebec and Alberta. Officials have not yet determined the source of this outbreak but say past outbreaks in Canada and the U.S. have been due to imported produce, specifically pre-packaged salad mix, basil, cilantro, berries, mesclun lettuce and snow peas.
“Cyclospora is a microscopic single-celled parasite that is passed in people’s feces. If it comes in contact with food or water, it can infect the people who consume it. This causes an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis,” the Public Health Agency reports.
Food may become contaminated with cyclospora during the growth, harvesting or transportation phases, particularly by contact with infected food handlers during packaging or through contaminated irrigation or tap water.
The outbreak appears to have begun in May and the last reported case was on July 18. Most cases have been seen in Ontario, however there have been three reported in B.C., five in Quebec and one in Alberta.
Because abstaining for imported produce is difficult for many people throughout Canada, the Public Health Agency suggests a number of ways to mitigate chances of ingesting cyclospora.
Consumers should follow these safety tips when handling food:
Source article: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/08/intestinal-parasite-cyclospora-outbreak-linked-to-imported-produce/
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