Parasites in salads hospitalised 14 people in Dublin and Wicklow last year 2 months ago

Parasites in salads hospitalised 14 people in Dublin and Wicklow last year

The outbreak occurred last summer.

A parasite found in salads left 14 people in Dublin and Wicklow hospitalised last summer.

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The outbreak of Crytosporidium, a parasite which causes diarrhoea, left 40 people sick and 14 admitted to hospital in the south Dublin and Wicklow areas in July, 2020.

A new paper published in the Irish Medical Journal entitled ‘A Foodborne Outbreak of Cryptosporidium Likely Linked to Salad Leaves’ reports that the parasite came from baby salad leaves included in dishes in a number of restaurants.

The Irish Examiner reports that the paper states that the parasite can be found in soil, water, or any surface that has come into contact with faeces from a human or animal.

Extensive checks were carried out across over 100 restaurants during this time. The paper found that 31 out of 40 people had eaten at restaurants where salad was sourced from the same supplier farm.

The Food Safety Authority in Ireland (FSAI) issued an urgent recall of such leaves last summer.

All batches of Gold River Quality Mixed Salad Leaves with all best before dates were withdrawn from sale as a precaution due to the possible presence of the parasite. Caterers were also advised not to use the implicated products.

Cryptosporidium can cause watery diarrhoea, which is particularly dangerous for older people, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

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The farm in question was advised to fence off its salad crop field, and restaurants were encouraged to wash all salad before use. The supplier said that there were no obvious signs that the salad crop had come into contact with slurry or other organic material.