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Cyclospora infections tied to lettuce sold at Minnesota, North Dakota Aldi stores

An Aldi spokesperson told Forum News Service Monday evening that garden salad bags carrying a certain UPC code were implicated in an outbreak of cyclosporiasis.

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The Minnesota Department of Health traced a Cyclospora outbreak that sickened 13 Minnesotans in June 2020 to ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad and Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad. Courtesy of MDH
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FARGO — An outbreak of cyclospora infection, also known as cyclosporiasis, has implicated bags of garden salad sold at Aldi and Hy-Vee stores in Minnesota and North Dakota, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

The FDA and CDC are working with state health officials to determine the scope of the outbreak. Minnesota has confirmed 13 illnesses from the infection. In North Dakota, three potential cases are pending investigation, according to Julie Wagendorf, director of the Division of Food and Lodging for the North Dakota Department of Health.

Wagendorf told Forum News Service Monday, June 22, that initial trace-back procedures did not indicate North Dakota restaurants and grocery stores received implicated products.

In a follow-up Tuesday afternoon, Wagendorf confirmed that, using lot numbers, the FDA traced implicated bags of garden salad back to the Aldi in Fargo. The Aldi on 13th Avenue South is the only store in North Dakota, though construction of another store has begun in south Fargo .

Accounting for the FDA's new information, Wagendorf said investigations into foodborne illnesses can change rapidly, adding the state will often conduct "recall effectiveness checks" alongside federal agencies to ensure products are removed from stores.

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The Aldi stores in Dilworth and Fergus Falls, Minn., were implicated in Minnesota's statewide advisory, Trisha Robinson, epidemiologist supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Health, confirmed. Minnesota cases originated from Brown, Dakota, Dodge, Freeborn, Kandiyohi, Le Sueur, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Ramsey, Rock, Stearns, Steele and Watonwan counties.

An Aldi spokesperson told Forum News Service Monday evening that bags carrying a certain UPC code were implicated and removed from shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota, as well as Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, South Dakota and Wisconsin, the same 10 states the CDC reported to be impacted.

Thomas Evanella is a reporter for The Forum. He's worked for The Forum for over two years, primarily reporting on business news. Reach him at tevanella@forumcomm.com or by calling 701-353-8363. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEvanella.
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