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17 Nebraska illnesses linked to store-bought salads
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17 Nebraska illnesses linked to store-bought salads

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Lettuce

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported Wednesday 17 people have become ill from a rare parasite associated with fresh vegetables and fruits.

The Cyclospora infections appear to be associated with store-brand garden salads containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage and carrots purchased at Aldi and Hy-Vee grocery stores.

Hy-Vee recalled its brand bagged salads with the “Garden Salads” label sold in Midwestern states on Saturday. On Monday, Aldi recalled its 12-ounce bagged “Little Salad Bar Garden Salad.”

“It’s important for consumers to check their homes for any of these recalled salads," said Dr. Tom Safranek, epidemiologist for DHHS. "Throw away remaining salad, even if some of it has been eaten and no one has gotten sick.”

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DHHS and local health department officials conducted interviews with Nebraskans who contracted the illness. Based on those interviews, the majority of people reported purchasing and eating the prepackaged salads.

Other states have received similar reports leading to a joint investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and regional state and local partners.

Symptoms of Cyclospora include diarrhea that can last weeks to months, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, intestinal gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and low-grade fever.

People experiencing symptoms should see a physician for diagnosis and treatment.

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