Dole recalls blueberries due to potential cyclospora contamination

Dole Diversified North America, Inc. is recalling some cases of its fresh blueberries due to potential cyclospora contamination.

The company said the cases of Dole Fresh Blueberries were packaged in a variety of clamshell sizes.

Dole and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that the berries packed between May 28 and June 9 were part of the recall.

Case sizes ranged from 6, 18 and 24 ounces up to a pint. 

The impacted products were distributed in Illinois, Maine, New York, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

Consumers are advised to discard any product matching the product description and UPC barcodes and product lot codes listed in the release.

The government agency said no illnesses had been reported in association with the recall.

"Providing safe, nutritious product is a core tenet of the organization that Dole is 100% committed to," Dole Food Company, Inc. corporate communications director William Goldfield told FOX Business in an email on Tuesday. "If a potential hazard is identified, we will always take the most precautionary measure to ensure safety."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite composed of one cell which causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.

The infection may be contracted after consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite and the CDC noted that those living or traveling in countries where cyclosporiasis is endemic may be at increased risk.

Research from the National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine published in 2019 says that while this type of infection has been reported worldwide, it is "most common in tropical and subtropical areas" including "initially identified endemic areas" like Haiti, Guatemala, Peru and Nepal.

The CDC notes that cyclospora needs around one to two weeks after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person and the time between becoming infected and becoming sick is approximately one week.

Symptoms include diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, body aches, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, bloating, increased gas, headache, fever and other flu-like symptoms.

However, the CDC said some people may not experience any symptoms.

If not treated, the illness may last anywhere from a few days to up to a month or longer and symptoms may appear to go away and return one or multiple times.

Those who think they may be infected are instructed to see a medical professional and submit one or more stool specimens for special laboratory testing.

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The infection is treated with a combination of antibiotics and patients are advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids.

To avoid infection, consumers are advised to wash their hands with soap and any cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops before or after handling or preparing fruits and vegetables, wash all fruits and vegetables being used that are not labeled "prewashed" and refrigerate cut, peeled or cooked fruits and vegetables as soon as possible and store them away from raw meat, poultry and seafood.

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