DeLauro Pushes for Specifics from FDA on Cyclospora Outbreak
WASHINGTON, DC (August 3, 2018) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today wrote a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., asking for specific information regarding the ongoing investigation into the Cyclospora outbreak linked to product sold by Fresh Express. The outbreak is currently responsible for 395 infections—including 16 hospitalizations—across 15 states.
“I write out of concern about the current outbreak of cyclosporiasis as well as the transparency and timeliness of your agency’s ongoing investigation,” wrote DeLauro. “Although once rare in the United States, parasitic outbreaks caused by Cyclospora have become more common over the last several decades. Many of these outbreaks have continually been found to be associated with imported fruits and vegetables.”
“Earlier last month, several Midwest state public health departments announced investigations linked to salad consumed at McDonald’s,” continued DeLauro. “However, it was not until July 26 that the FDA completed analysis showing that an unused package of product distributed to McDonald’s by the supplier, Fresh Express, was contaminated with Cyclospora. Sometime between July 27 and July 30, Fresh Express notified Caito Foods, LLC that they had received recalled product, prompting the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to issue a July 30 public health alert on beef, pork and poultry wraps distributed by Caito Foods. This timeline of events does not instill confidence that the FDA has acted within the best interests of consumers in order to get potentially contaminated product out of the marketplace.”
A copy of the full letter can be found here. DeLauro is a senior Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the FDA.