WASHINGTON — Taylor Farms de Mexico promises to follow a Cyclospora sampling program for leafy greens and other products from its farms and processing facility after the Food & Drug Administration gave the company the green flag so as it could cater to the beginning of shipping it’s product again to the United States.
On Aug. 12, the Salinas, CA-based company officially informed the FDA that it was voluntarily suspending it’s production at the Taylor Farms de Mexico facility on Aug. 9 and would not resume its production and shipping of its salad mix or leafy greens without FDA’s approval.
While Taylor Farms stopped its production at the Mexico facility, FDA conducted its environmental assessment from Aug. 11-19 of the processing facility and five farms identified through the outbreak’s traceback investigation.
The FDA was noted saying, “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”. “As a result of the recent environmental assessment and FDA’s thorough review of a product sampling plan for Cyclospora put in place by Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., the FDA agreed to the firm resuming operations.”
“Taylor Farms has said yes to conduct a comprehensive Cyclospora sampling program for leafy greens and other products for its Mexican facility that includes sampling of the products and water, as well as continued monitoring of the sanitary conditions of their facilities”, FDA said.
The Centers for Disease Control has reported that a minimum of 616 people from 22 states are suffering from the parasite-caused intestinal disease and 45 people have been hospitalized.
The investigation into the cause of the outbreak focused on the Mexico processor after public health officials in Iowa and Nebraska said cases of Cyclospora infection at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants, both owned by Darden Restaurants, were linked to salad mix produced by Taylor Farms de Mexico. FDA said the last date someone who had eaten in one of these restaurants in those states became ill was on July 2, more than five weeks before FDA started its inspection.
However, CDC says that the Texas Department of Health & Human Services is probing cases in its state and preliminary findings do not show a connection between a cluster of cases that ate at a Texas restaurant and Taylor Farms de Mexico.