Fresh Express Releases Recommendations to Prevent Cyclospora Contamination on Green Vegetables


Following an extensive outbreak of cyclosporiasis due to Cyclospora cayetanensis between July 2018 and September 2018, Fresh Express has released a report including recommendations to prevent infection. The outbreak involved 511 cases in 16 states with 24 hospitalizations.

The vehicle of infection was a romaine lettuce mix and the infection was mainly acquired in McDonalds’ restaurants during the late summer of 2018.

Fresh Express, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands, convened a panel of experts to identify control measures to limit future outbreaks.

Recommendations to growers included:

  • Eliminate human waste from fields and irrigation water by providing portable toilets for workers
  • Ensure that workers use restrooms and wash their hands, if necessary under supervision
  • Introduce a health and hygiene awareness program for farm workers
  • When possible, prevent other than healthy personnel from handling raw produce

The recommendations are essentially common sense and generic but there are obvious questions as to effectiveness given the high proportion of imported produce.


It will be necessary to develop an appropriate decontamination procedure for green produce involving either a spray application or electron beam treatment to eliminate bacterial and protozoal pathogens.