A company whose commercial bagged salad mixes are suspected of being the source of a large outbreak of parasitic food poisoning has suspended production and shipment of all its salad products from Mexico, federal health officials said Monday.
The Food and Drug Administration says Taylor Farms won't resume shipments without the agency's approval. About 535 people have been made sick by the cyclospora parasite.
"To date only the salad mix has been implicated in the outbreak of cyclosporiasis in Iowa and Nebraska," the FDA said in a statement. "This voluntary action goes beyond the implicated salad mix and includes iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots. The action of Taylor Farms de Mexico exemplifies the company's cooperation with federal and state officials throughout this ongoing, complicated investigation."
Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms, said he is confident its products are safe.
"Our Mexico plant produces about 10 percent of our salad products for the U.S., and it is pretty easy to temporarily shift production to our six domestic plants," he told NBC News by email. "We want to help with a thorough investigation by the FDA of our operation in Mexico to confirm confidence in our environment, our food safety systems and our operations."
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