What we know: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuing to investigate whether the basil, from Siga Logistics de RL de CV in Morelos, Mexico, caused the foodborne illness outbreak. In the meantime, the FDA is advising restaurateurs, retailers, distributors, importers and suppliers not to sell, serve or distribute the fresh, imported basil and also are warning consumers not to eat it. Of the 132 people infected, four were hospitalized. 

What Cyclospora is: Individuals who become infected could experience vomiting, body aches, headaches, low-grade fevers and flu-like symptoms. Some infected people do not exhibit any signs of illness. Prompt diagnosis, however, is critical since the illness could last between four and six weeks if left untreated. 

The latest info: The FDA and Siga Logistics are working together to facilitate a recall of the product, the agency said. The FDA also said it is working with Mexican food-safety regulatory counterparts to “define the cause and source of this outbreak,” according to a July 25 notice posted to its website. According to the FDA, restaurants linked to the illnesses are so far located in Florida, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio. Officials reported additional outbreaks in Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin. The illnesses began June 14 and continued through July 9, according to the New York State Department of Health, which confirmed 69 cases in people who ate at restaurants or foodservice establishments in and around Albany, N.Y. 

What’s next: The investigation is ongoing and the CDC and FDA will release more information as it becomes available. 

For additional questions, please email us at FoodSafety@restaurant.org.    

And for information about proper food handling practices, training and certification options for restaurant industry employees, visit the Association’s ServSafe initiative.