Parasite scare sparks recall for salads, wraps sold at Trader Joe's, Walgreens

A public health alert has been issued by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) warning consumers not consume certain pre-packaged salads and wraps from major retailers, including Walgreens, Kroger and Trader Joe's, over concerns about possible parasite contamination.

The alert follows Caito Food's lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, issuing a recall of its chopped romaine which is used in Caito Food's products, the FSIS said.

They have "Best by", "Enjoy by", "Best if sold by" or "Sell by" dates ranging from July 18 through July 23, 2018.

In a statement, Trader Joe's said no illnesses have been reported in connection with its products, and specified that they were sold only in Midwest stores.

Anyone with the affected products should them away or return them for a full refund.

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The Cyclospora parasite is treated with antibiotics and can cause a variety of stomach and intestinal problems along with fever and flu-like symptoms. The infection can cause Cyclosporiasis. The alert said the incubation period ranges from two to 14 days and that illnesses "might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported".

At Deerfield-based Walgreens, the recalled products were sold "in a limited number of our stores in IL only", spokeswoman Allison Mack said in an email Wednesday.

The FSIS encourages anyone concerned about an illness to contact their health-care provider.

Distributed nationwide by Caito Foods of Indianapolis, the possibly tainted products were sold by retailers including Kroger, Trader Joe's and Walgreens. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced that the McDonald's outbreak was tied to Fresh Express salad mix, which was distributed to McDonald's.

At least 286 people were sickened and 11 were hospitalized as a result of the May outbreak.

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