The FDA and CDC are teaming up to identify data gaps and research that is needed to develop improved tools to detect, prevent and control Cyclospora contamination of food.
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite that has caused multistate outbreaks of foodborne illness in recent years. Nearly 3,000 cases were reported in 2018. Though, authorities believe many more cases go unreported.
Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis has been reported in the U.S. since the mid-1990s and linked to various types of imported fresh produce, including raspberries, basil, snow peas, mesclun and cilantro. 2018 was the first time the parasite was confirmed in domestic produce.
Representatives of the FDA, CDC, food industry and academia participated in a scientific workshop last month to discuss gaps in detection methods and plans for the developmental tools that will help keep Cyclospora out of food before and after harvest.
“Together, the FDA and CDC are committed to protecting Americans from Cyclospora and other organisms that can make them sick,” Frank Yiannas deputy commissioner for food policy and response for the FDA and Monica Parise director of the division of parasitic diseases and malaria for the CDC said in the release. “Both agencies will continue to use all the tools they have available, from new detection techniques to DNA fingerprinting tools to enforcement tools like import alerts, to prevent cyclosporiasis illnesses in the United States.”