Category Archives: Parasite

USA – Fresh Organic Basil Recalled Over Cyclospora Contamination Concerns

Consumer Reports


Shenandoah Growers has recalled 3,240 units of fresh-cut, packaged organic basil because it may be contaminated with the parasite cyclospora.

The problem was found when a sample of the basil, which was imported from Columbia, was found to contain the parasite during a Food and Drug Administration routine test. No illnesses have been reported.

Research – Parasites in food an Invisible Threat


Foodborne parasitic diseases are often neglected in various food safety control systems, even though they can create severe human health problems. Because the production and monetary losses associated with them are often not visible, and the infected animals often show no signs, they are very difficult to detect. Different types of parasitic diseases can be transmitted to humans from pork, fish, freshwater crustaceans, vegetables, eggs of tapeworms and protozoa. The risks associated with all of them can, however, be avoided through the application of good hygiene, farming and fishing practices, and with the promotion of the community awareness. For example, the promotion of a participatory approach and the development of training packages for food businesses operators would be beneficial in raising awareness within the community. Basic information regarding the how the parasites are transmitted and their effects, and any and all preventive measure that each person can take should be included in communication topics. Food safety authorities can play an important part by using the guidance provided by Codex Alimentarius regarding animal production, food processing, and meat inspection. Furthermore, the development of networks of authorities committed to addressing the problem, would help prevent and control the spread of parasitic diseases.

USA – Organic Basil,15 bags – Cyclospora



Product Description: Organic Basil,15 bags, Net. Wt.15Lbs case.

Reason for Recall:Possible contamination with Cyclospora

Product Quantity:280 boxes/4200 pounds

Recall Number:F-0185-2021

Code Information:Lot#LP814

Classification:Class II

Event Details

Event ID:86877

Voluntary / Mandated:

Voluntary: Firm initiated

Product Type:Food

Initial Firm Notification of Consignee or Public:Two or more of the following: Email, Fax, Letter, Press Release, Telephone, Visit


Distribution Pattern:Distributed to direct accounts in VA and FL

Recalling Firm:Vallarta Organics LLC

1 S Prospect Dr
Coral Gables, FL 33133-7003
United States

Recall Initiation Date:11/27/2020

Center Classification Date:12/22/2020

Denmark – Disease outbreaks with rare microsporidia – Enterocytozoon bieneusi.


The Statens Serum Institut and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration are currently investigating a disease outbreak in a company with a microorganism that has so far not been registered as a cause of disease outbreaks in Denmark. It is a species of microsporidia, Enterocytozoon bieneusi. It is believed that the infection occurred through food.

In October, a company in the metropolitan area reported more than 70 cases of diarrhea among their employees.

The Statens Serum Institut (SSI) has so far found samples from 11 people positive for Enterocytozoon bieneusi, which is a species of microsporidia. It is not a microorganism that we often detect in Denmark, and we have not previously seen disease outbreaks with it.

The infection can cause severe and prolonged diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea. In addition, there may be symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue (flu-like). The infection occurs from feces from infected people with poor hygiene to other people either directly or through food and drink.

“There are no registered persons outside the company who should have been infected with E. bieneus. But we urge the country’s physicians to pay attention to patients with prolonged diarrhea for no apparent reason. Especially if it is about immunocompromised people and with particularly long-lasting symptoms, ”says ward doctor Lasse Skafte Vestergaard, SSI. Read more about the disease outbreak with microsporidia  (EPI-NEWS – week 52a – 2020)

Diagrams of Enterocytozoon bieneusi Spore, Life Cycle, and Possible... |  Download Scientific Diagram

Microsporidia are protozoan parasites belonging to the phylum Microsporidia within which exist over 1000 species classified into approximately 100 genera. These eukaryotic obligate intracellular protozoans have been described infecting every major animal group, especially insects, fish, and mammals (Wittner 1999). Microsporidia have been increasingly recognized as opportunistic pathogens of immunodeficient patients (Weber et al. 1994), especially in Aids patients but it is also becoming increasingly common in immunocompetent individuals (Gainzarain et al. 1998, Lores et al. 2001).

Although during the last decade numerous data related to the epidemiology of this infection in humans and animals have been accumulated, implying a zoonotic nature of these parasites, direct evidence of transmission from animals to humans are still lacking (Deplazes et al. 2000).

Encephalitozoon cuniculi is probably the most extensively studied mammalian microsporidian and has been reported to infect a wide range of hosts, including common laboratory rodents as well as human and non-human primates. This is the first microsporidian species infecting humans that has been considered a zoonosis (Deplazes et al. 1996, Didier et al. 1996) .

The first identification of E. intestinalis in mammals other than humans was reported by Bornay et al. (1998) in the faeces of donkeys, dogs, pigs, cow, and goat suggesting that E. intestinalis might also be of zoonotic origin.

Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most frequent microsporidian found in humans, especially in Aids patients. It has been associated mainly with chronic diarrhoea, although it has been diagnosed in patients with other forms of immunosuppression and in immunocompetent travellers with self-limited diarrhoea (Weber & Bryan 1994, Sobottka et al. 1995). In addition, this pathogen has recently been detected in other natural hosts such as pigs (Deplazes et al. 1996, Breitenmoser et al. 1999, Rinder et al. 2000), cows, goats, pigs, chickens, cats, turkeys (Bornay et al. 1998), rabbits, dogs (del Aguila et al. 1999), and in simian immunodeficiency virus-inoculated monkeys (Tzipori et al. 1997, Mansfield et al. 1997). Consequently, this microsporidian infection may be more common than previously suspected.

USA – Shenandoah Growers Inc Issues a Limited, Voluntary Recall of Certain Imported Organic Basil Because of Potential Health Risk – Cyclospora


Shenandoah Growers, Inc (Harrisonburg, VA) out of an abundance of caution, has issued a limited, voluntary recall of approximately 15,000 units in select packages, due to a possible health risk from Cyclospora.

These were packed under branded and private label fresh cut organic certified basil clamshells at its Jefferson, GA facility and Harrisonburg, VA facility with the following lot codes, all with the country of origin of Colombia. Recalled products were distributed to select retail stores between 10/20/2020 and 10/30/2020 in various states including Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC.

Affected lot codes:

LOT Number:




PV14334C296 The Fresh Market 0.5oz 7-37094-23027-2
PV64308E304 Good & Gather 0.5oz 0-85239-12215-0
PV64308C296 Naturally Better 0.5oz 6-07880-20230-4
PV64308A300 Naturally Better 0.5oz 6-07880-20230-4
PV64308D300 Naturally Better 0.5oz 6-07880-20230-4
PV14334E297 Nature’s Promise 4.0oz 6-88267-16220-6
PV14334E297 Nature’s Promise 2.5 oz 6-88267-54893-2
PV14334E297 Nature’s Promise 0.5oz 6-88267-19910-3
PV14334B296 Nature’s Promise 0.5oz 6-88267-19910-3
PV14334C297 O Organics 0.66oz 0-79893-98072-0
PV 14334E297 O Organics 4.0oz 0-79893-98081-2
PV64308B294 Simple Truth 3.0oz 0-11110-00876-3
PV64308D297 Simple Truth 3.0oz 0-11110-00876-3
PV64308E295 That’s Tasty 3.0oz 7-68573-53001-9
PV64308E296 That’s Tasty 2.0oz 7-68573-51510-8
PV64308A298 That’s Tasty 3.0oz 7-68573-53001-9
PV14334C296 Wild Harvest 0.25oz 7-11535-50450-4
PV14334C296 Wild Harvest 4.0oz 7-11535-50323-1
PV14334C296 Wild Harvest 2.0oz 7-11535-50762-8

The Shenandoah Growers recall includes only those clamshells of certified organic basil clearly marked with the affected lot codes listed above. The lot code can be found printed on each clamshell.

This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a package pulled by the Florida Department of Agriculture on 11/2/2020 from a retail store in Florida indicated the potential presence of Cyclospora.

Affected Shenandoah Growers customers have been notified of the recall and instructed to immediately remove and discard recalled products from all store shelves, distribution and other inventories to ensure they are no longer available for sale or consumption.

These products were harvested and packed nearly 4 weeks ago and should no longer be in commerce.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the Cyclospora parasite. A person may become infected after ingesting contaminated food or water. Common symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, body aches and fatigue. The infection is treated with antibiotics and most people respond quickly to treatment.

No other Shenandoah Growers products are subject to recall, and the company has no knowledge of any illness reported or related to this product.

Consumers who may have a recalled basil product should discard it immediately and not eat it. Consumers with questions, or to obtain refunds, may contact the Shenandoah Growers Consumer Response Center at 844-896-6939 Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm Eastern time.

Shenandoah Growers takes food safety matters very seriously, and stringently follows all mandated regulations and implements preventive measures designed to minimize potential risks. Shenandoah Growers is working in close coordination with regulatory officials, including the FDA, on this matter.

Company Contact Information

Shenandoah Growers Consumer Response Center
Don Helms

Product Photos

USA/Canada – Cyclospora sucks: 1060 North Americans sickened in summer Fresh Express outbreak


Barf Blog

The parasite, Cyclospora, continues to provide illness and intrigue.

Florida-based Southeastern Grocers has issued a voluntary recall for its “SE Grocers Naturally Better Organic Fresh Cut Basil” following the detection of Cyclospora.

The company says the product was delivered through all of its distribution centers and sold in all its stores, including Winn-Dixie, BI-LO, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarkets. The basil comes in a 0.5-ounce container with UPC code 6-07880-20230-4.

The latest recall follows a summer outbreak of Cyclospora in the U.S. linked to Fresh Express and private label brand salad products produced at its Streamwood, IL facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and/or carrots.

690 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections and who reported eating bagged salad mix before getting sick weren reported from 13 states (Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to July 20, 2020.

37 people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

Canadians in several provinces were also sickened.

USA – 1071 sick with Cyclospora linked to Fresh Express bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage

Food Poison Journal


As of November 4, 2020, 370 confirmed cases of Cyclospora illness were reported in the following provinces and territories: British Columbia (1), Ontario (255), Quebec (105), New Brunswick (1), Newfoundland and Labrador (6), and Nunavut (2). Individuals became sick between mid-May and late August 2020. Ten individuals were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. Individuals who became ill were between 0 and 83 years of age. The illnesses are distributed equally among men (50%) and women (50%).

Research – Edible insects and Toxoplasma gondii : is it something we need to be concerned about?

Journal of Food Protection


Novel foods such as edible insects and food products based on insects could play an important role in both human and animal nutrition in the future. The identification of dangers associated with insect consumption is fundamental to guarantee consumer safety and adequate regulatory guidelines for operators of the food sector. While former studies have focused on the microbiological contamination of fresh or processed edible insects, so far little information is available about the occurrence of foodborne parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii, whose life cycle makes it a candidate for potential insects’ breeding substrate contamination.  Hence, we investigated the presence of contaminating T. gondii in farmed edible insects to rule out this further hazard for consumers. Four species of insects most commonly used as food for human consumption were analyzed: Mealworm, African migratory locust, House cricket and Silkworms. Samples included live specimens but also minimally (dehydrated) and highly processed edible insects. Traces of T. gondii DNA were detected in samples of dehydrated mealworm. These results highlight the need for implementing good farming and processing practices with particular care paid to safe storage and handling of feed and substrates used for edible insects to reduce the chance of T. gondii entering the human food chain.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Cyclospora: Bagged Salads (June 2020) CDC announces the end of the outbreak; FDA continues its investigation.


Investigation Update

September 25, 2020

As of September 25, 2020, CDC has announced this outbreak is over. FDA’s traceback investigation is complete, however the cause or source of the outbreak has not been determined. FDA’s investigation is continuing, in consultation with the state agriculture and regional water board.

FDA investigated multiple farms identified in the traceback, one of which led to sampling and investigation around a farm in south Florida. FDA continues to work with the state of Florida and the local water district to try to determine the source and impact of Cyclospora that was found in the regional water management canal (C-23), located west of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Given the emerging nature of genetic typing methodologies for this parasite in foods and in environmental samples, the FDA has been unable to determine if the Cyclospora detected in the canal is a genetic match to the clinical cases, therefore, there is currently not enough evidence to conclusively determine the source of this outbreak. However, the presence of Cyclospora in a canal that had previously supplied irrigation water in the region, and specifically to a farm identified in the traceback, suggests the need for a collaborative effort by state, federal and industry partners to better define the scope of the contamination and identify appropriate risk mitigation measures.

Previous Updates

Scotland – Drinking Water Quality in Scotland 2019 Private Water Supplies

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR) ensures that local authorities are meeting their regulatory duties in regard to the quality of private water supplies. DWQR also regulates the quality of water supplied by Scottish Water. The role of DWQR was created by the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 (“the Act”), which gives the Regulator powers to obtain information. This report fulfils the requirement under the Act that the DWQR publishes a report
on the exercise of the Regulator’s functions during the previous year. This report relates to the calendar year 2019 and is for private water supplies. A similar report on the quality of water supplied by Scottish Water was published on Monday 10 August 2020. Private water supplies (PWS) are drinking water supplies that are not the responsibility of Scottish Water but of their owners and users. PWS regulations are enforced by local authorities. The regulations were revised in October 2017, bringing into force The Water Intended for
Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 (“the 2017 regulations”). These cover large domestic or commercial supplies. Smaller household PWS (referred to as Type B supplies) continue to be governed by The Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (“the 2006 regulations”).