Taylor Farms de Mexico, the salad maker implicated in a June Cyclospora outbreak in the US, has resumed production after tests found “no indication” of the protozone on its farms and production facility in Mexico.
At the beginning of this month Taylor Farms de Mexico voluntarily suspended operations after the US Food and Drug Administration suggested the leafy green supplier was linked to an outbreak of Cyclospora that sickened 242 people in Nebraska and Iowa who ate Darden Restaurants-owned Olive Garden and Red Lobster locations.
Between 5 August and 26 August, the company said it analysed more than 1,180 samples for Cyclospora in independent tests. The results all came back negative, Taylor Farms revealed. Samples were taken from agricultural inputs, soil samples and leafy greens, the company emphasised.
“Taylor Farms has reviewed thousands of other data points for the production dates in question and have found no irregularities that would indicate a potential for contamination,” the group added.
Meanwhile, the FDA conducted a “thorough environmental assessment” at Taylor Farms de Mexico’s processing facility and five farms identified through the Cyclospora outbreak’s traceback investigation.
“The team found that conditions and practices observed at these facilities at the time of the assessment were in accordance with known food safety protocols,” the regulator said.
However, the FDA added that there was a time-lag between the last reported illness and the commencement of its testing process. “The last date that someone who had eaten in one of these restaurants in those states reportedly became ill with cycloporiasis was on July 2, more than five weeks prior to start of the environmental assessment.”
Taylor Farms de Mexico has been given the green light to resume shipping its salad products to the US and the company has committed to implement a testing programme for Cyclospora, the FDA said.
The food safety watchdog added that its investigation is ongoing.