Cyclospora cases plague U.S. lettuce industry27 Jul 2020
On June 20, retailers in nearly all the Midwestern states in the U.S. recalled bagged garden salad products that were linked to an outbreak of Cyclospora infections. As of July 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 641 cases across 11 states.
The private label bagged salad products were made at a Fresh Express – a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands – production facility in Streamwood, Illinois. Contaminated products were sold under store brands at ALDI Little Salad Bar, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco Signature Farms, ShopRite Wholesome Pantry, and Walmart Marketside.
Cyclospora infections are accompanied by symptoms, including loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, nausea and fatigue, according to the CDC. Cases of this parasite have been on the rise in recent years with the CDC reporting a 1,200% increase in cases between 2016 and 2018. While the reasons behind this increase are not fully understood, it mirrors a broader trend of increasing instances of foodborne illness in the U.S.
Food contaminated by pathogens is increasing across the board, according to CDC data, with Salmonella leading the cases of bacterial foodborne illness. On an annual basis, 1.2 million cases of Salmonella are reported in the U.S.
While both Cyclospora and Salmonella can adulterate a variety of foods, the American lettuce industry has taken the brunt of these instances of contamination for the last several years.
Romaine lettuce in particular has been plagued by several outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli contamination in the last two years. Facilities in Arizona and California are now subject to more scrupulous testing by the Food and Drug Administration in order to help stop future occurrences of contamination. However, the testing has proved to be geographically limited.
In this latest recall, the bagged salad mixes were made with iceberg lettuce and came from a facility in Illinois – an area of the country that was not on the FDA’s list for more stringent monitoring. This wave of illness seems to only have served to compound the difficulties in the troubled greens industry that is working on longer term solutions to alleviate these recurring bouts of contamination. One of these potential solutions is The Food Safety Modernization Act which will require lettuce growers to test irrigation water in hopes of preventing the spread of pathogens at the source. However, the application of this law is lagging; the act was signed into law in 2011 but its implementation has been delayed until 2022.
Finding a solution to mitigate the presence of illnesses in consumer products continues to be a priority for the U.S. government and industry stakeholders. While lawmakers push for overarching solutions, others are advocating for root cause analysis to understand how and why these outbreaks occur. The independent firm Pew Charitable Trusts has thrown in its bid to prioritize collaboration between the industry, regulators and researches in order to push for public health and mitigate the inevitable financial losses for manufacturers that result from recalls.
Blue Apron co-founder raises $10M to breed a superior chicken
31 Jul 2020
For decades the American poultry breeding business has been dominated by Cobb and Aviagen. However, Cook Ventures, a new breeder focused on slow-growth, heirloom chickens, may give its two major competitors a run for their money.Read more
Following second quarter earnings report, Coca-Cola looks to drop more brands
30 Jul 2020
After Coca-Cola announced the discontinuation of its Odwalla juice brand earlier this month, Coke's CEO James Quincey said during the company's second quarter earnings call that more of the CPG giant’s brands will be on the chopping block in the near f...Read more
Study: 2% of Brazil’s soybean farms are responsible for 62% of deforestation
29 Jul 2020
A new study published in the Journal of Science found that 20% of soy and 17% of beef imports into European from Brazil may be contaminated with illegal deforestation. Although a substantial figure, this deforestation is linked to a small number of far...Read more
Anheuser-Busch releases Busch Light Apple beer
24 Jul 2020
It’s not yet fall, but Anheuser-Busch launched an apple-flavored lager under its Busch Light line. This is the first time in 65 years that the Busch Beer brand has released a flavored beer product, and it will be available for a limited time in select ...Read more
UK government invests £705 million to fund new border infrastructure and management
23 Jul 2020
The transition period for the UK out of the EU will end on January 1, 2021, and with it will come the end of a the single market and customs union. To prepare for the exit and maintain trading relations with the EU, the UK government is investing £705 ...Read more
Pasture-raised egg producer Vital Farms files for IPO
22 Jul 2020
Pasture-raised egg company Vital Farms filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering. The company plans to use the symbol VITL on the NASDAQ New York stock exchange.Read more
Analysts report Monster Beverage likely to enter hard seltzer segment
21 Jul 2020
Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan released a report stating that he expects energy drink giant Monster Beverage to enter both the hard seltzer space and the non-alcoholic sparkling water category.Read more
PepsiCo Egypt CEO feels bullish about regional growth: ‘The opportunities are huge’
20 Jul 2020
PepsiCo recently announced a US$100m capital investments in Egypt, and its confidence in the country’s growth potential is unshaken even by coronavirus, says the CEO of PepsiCo Egypt.Read more
Uber agrees to buy Postmates for $2.65 billion
17 Jul 2020
Uber will expand its food delivery business with a $2.65 billion acquisition of the Postmates delivery service. The financial transaction will be done in an all-stock deal, putting the pressure on both companies to continue delivering growth and become...Read more
Danone rejects claim that its infant formulas contain toxic substances
15 Jul 2020
After industry watchdog group Foodwatch released a report last October that aromatic mineral oils (MOAH) were found in 16 infant formula brands, including Danone’s Gallia Galliagest Lactose-free Growing-up product, the French manufacturing giant recent...Read more
Are you a supplier
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation