FDA Releases Cyclospora Action Plan
FDA released its Cyclospora Prevention, Response, and Research Action Plan on July 1 as part of FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative. The Action Plan is modeled after FDA’s Leafy Greens Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) Action Plan and seeks to improve food safety prevention practices, fill knowledge gaps, and quicken response activities to prevent Cyclospora contamination of foods and efficiently respond to future outbreaks.
While cyclosporiasis was historically associated with consumption of imported produce, Cyclospora contamination has become a domestic concern in recent years. The first known contamination in U.S. produce was in 2018. In addition to precautionary procedures of testing imported produce and inspecting foreign farms, FDA has helped develop new diagnostic and detection methods for Cyclospora to improve its response to domestic outbreaks.
Cyclospora cayetanesis causes cyclosporiasis in humans, a foodborne intestinal illness. The number of reported cases has risen in recent years, partly because of improved testing methods. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show roughly 6,000 domestically-acquired cases of cyclosporiasis during the past three years, and actual numbers may be higher.