Thirty-five Minnesotans have fallen ill after eating tainted basil in food from three restaurants.
The Food and Drug Administration issued an outbreak alert on Thursday affecting 132 people across 11 states, after finding basil imported from Mexico that is tainted with cyclospora, which causes food poisoning.
Of those, 35 cases are in Minnesota, with the Minnesota Department of Health tracing those illnesses to basil consumed at three restaurants.
– City Market in Rochester: 26 cases.
– Outback Steakhouse in Hermantown: 4 cases.
– Meals catered by Duluth Grill at a conference in Duluth: 5 cases.
"It’s important to note that the illnesses are the result of contaminated imported food product, not anything the restaurants did or did not do," MDH spokesman Doug Schultz said.
"We have no evidence of any ongoing risk at the restaurants involved in the MN outbreaks," he added.
None of the cases in Minnesota have resulted in hospitalizations, with the meal dates of those impacting ranging from mid-to-late June, with symptoms of cyclospora appearing in late June to early July.
Cyclospora can cause symptoms including diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and nausea.
The owner of City Market told the Star Tribune that the basil was washed, but that doesn't remove the cyclospora. They have since changed basil supplier however.
The FDA says the fresh basil was exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico.
"Do not consume or serve uncooked items like pesto or salad, that may include fresh basil from Mexico, unless you are certain that the fresh basil was not exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV," it warns.
"If they do not know what country the basil is from, they should avoid it," it added.