By Teddy Cambosa
A cryptosporidiosis outbreak recorded last July 2020 from a single South Dublin laboratory has been found to be linked to the consumption of salad leaves, new research published to the Irish Medical Journal shows.
Titled “A Foodborne Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Likely Linked to Salad Leaves”, said research had found out that Forty cases were linked to the outbreak, of which 33 fulfilled the confirmed case definition. Thirty one (78%) of cases were aged 20 to 40 years old. Fourteen (35%) cases required hospitalisation. Several cases shared a common restaurant history. Cross-referencing of food exposures identified a common salad box served in the implicated restaurants, sourced from a single farm, which led to a precautionary product recall.
In addition, the research noted that surveillance alerts were issued to regional Public Health Departments, local GPs, hospital microbiologists and Emergency Departments on 29th July. Recommendations issued to Farm A included: fencing off the salad crop field; remediation work to the well head at Farm A, installation of UV disinfection equipment, and washing of salad produce by food premises before use. A product recall of the seasonal salad box was issued on 4th August as a precaution.
“Ultimately, this investigation highlights the surveillance value of routine PCR screening of stool samples for Cryptosporidium, which facilitated early detection and management of this outbreak. In order to accurately measure the incidence of Cryptosporidium infection in Europe, a comprehensive, uniform surveillance system is needed,” the research concluded.
Teddy Cambosa is a graduating BS Biology student and a former campus journalist at Batangas State University.