In the year 2018, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with FDA had concluded that cyclosporiasis outbreaks can turn to be harmful. It has so far sickened hundreds of people in at least 17 states to date. Not many people are aware of this illness but the fact is if restaurant owners and customers don’t take the right precautions the illness can get worse. It is important to speak with a health care expert on the Cyclospora cayetanensis so the right action can be taken and prevention can be followed.
What exactly is Cyclosporiasis?
This is one intestinal infection that happens when the foodborne Cyclospora parasite enters the body. The FDA has come up with a new testing method that is created and validated by many expert scientists. As per the findings mostly the Cyclospora cayetanensis is present in salad mix that too the one which is sent at the restaurants like McDonald’s. That was the first time when the FDA had managed to confirm that Cyclospora is present in food from the end of the ’90s and early 2000s. There was a testing method used that was not present earlier. Since then, Cyclospora cayetanensis has been a public health concern. Looking at the graph currently, there has been quite an increase in recent times.
How is Cyclospora spread?
Cyclospora cayetanensis is made of one cell which is so small that it cannot be noted without a microscope. It is infectious and can harm the intestine. It is spread by the people who ingest certain food in which this parasite is present. Usually for it to pass the bowel it can take time maybe 1 or 2 weeks. In that span, the person who is infected is likely to note some symptoms. Besides, it can be infectious for another person as well. That is why the right precautionary measure needs to be taken.
Know the symptoms of Cyclospora infection:
Usually, it takes 1 week for the person to start noticing the symptoms. The period of getting an infection and then showing the signs can be around 1 week. Once it infects the intestine, it can cause problems like watery diarrhea along with some explosive bowel movements. There are also other common signs that include:
· Loss Of Appetite
· Stomach Cramps/Pain
· Weight Loss
· Flu-Like Symptoms
Many people have stated that they were diagnosed with the infection but did not show any kind of symptoms as stated above.
Foods Linked to Outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis:
For quite some time now FDA has been researching more on the outbreak of Cyclosporiasis that has been taking place. It has been found that food like basil, snow peas, raspberries, cilantro, and mesclun lettuce to name some. Even if it is not clear how water and food get infected with such parasites, it is important that people are aware of it.
What Restaurants Need to Do?
As per the available data, to deal with the problem of Cyclospora, routine chemical disinfection needs to be followed. There are methods like chlorine usage that can be helpful. The retailers and restaurants need to follow some basic food safety practices.
· Safe food handling and preventive measure should be followed
· Utensils should be washed and sanitized
· The surface should be cleaned before and after handling the food.
· Display case needs to be washed and sanitized well
· Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food are important
· Wash and sanitize chopping board surfaces and utensils.
· Follow the cleaning and sanitisation process by washing hands with warm water and soap.
What Consumers Need to Do?
Along with restaurant owners, it is consumers responsibility too to ensure precautionary measures are followed such as:
· Refrigerator inside walls and shelves are cleaned off well
· Countertops and cutting boards are well sanitized before use.
· The hand should be washed with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds
· If there are any spills in the refrigerator it needs to be wiped off quickly.
Such type of intestinal illness is curable but the right testing should be done on time. It usually is caused when the Cyclospora cayetanensis parasite enters the body. People are at high risk to get infected if they consume water or food which is contaminated with such parasites. There have been many deaths because of it. Those who travel or live in a country where cyclosporiasis is endemic can be at high risk to get infected.