CA DNS Info on Strawberry Situation

Mark Schannon Mark.Schannon at ketchum.com
Tue Jun 25 13:15:30 EST 1996


This info was sent out last Friday by the Califorina State Department of Health 
Services regarding reports linking California strawberries and cyclospora...

INITIAL TESTING OF CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRRY FIELDS TRUN UP NEGATIVE FOR CYCLOSPORA - NO 
EVIDENCE OF OUTBREAK IN STATE


SACRATMENTO, (June 21, 1996) – California health officials announced today that initial 
testing of strawberries in California for Cyclospora, a parasite which causes server 
diarrhea, have been negative.  Contacts with major hospitals in both Northern and 
Southern California reveal no cases of Cyclospora illness contracted in California.

"To date, test results from samples taken from strawberry fields in California have been 
negative for Cyclospora," said Stuart Richardson, Chief of the Department’s Food and 
Drug Branch.  "We will continue to monitor the situation."

"Health officials are examining all possible causes, everything from the place of origin 
to how food was prepared and served," Richardson continued.  "California is the largest 
consumer of California strawberries, and there is no evidence of any outbreak in the 
state."

California will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
(CDC) and other officials to ensure the public health. 

In recent weeks, Cyclospora outbreaks have been reported in Houston, Florida, and 
Toronto.  In Houston and Toronto, health officials report a statistical association with 
strawberries.  In Florida, the source remains unclear.

"Other states have not detected Cyclospora in strawberries," said Richardson.

The Department routinely recommends that fresh fruits and vegetables should be 
thoroughly washed before consumption.

-30-

Contacts:   Lynda Frost  916/657-3084 or Stuart Richardson 916/445-2283



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