LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

DALLAS A pre-packaged mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce, cabbage, and carrots is being blamed for the cyclospora outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska.

Many health experts are questioning why federal investigators haven't released the brand of the salad.

"My big concern is the FDA hasn't visited the farms," said ABC News medical editor and former head of the CDC Dr. Richard Besser. "They don't know if it's an ongoing problem and whether or not this product could come back and cause problems. And I think if people knew the brand, they may stay away from it until the investigation is finished."

Health officials haven't determined if the same product is connected to the North Texas outbreak. But, Dr. Wendy Chung, in charge of Dallas County's investigation, knows people are concerned.

"I think that until a specified food item is identified with certainty by the federal agencies, we really don't know what is causing this particular outbreak," said Chung, an epidemiologist with Dallas County Health and Human Services, "And so the best thing that anyone can do at this point is take the standard precautions when eating produce. That means washing your produce very well before consuming it."

News 8 tested pre-packed, pre-washed lettuce for a report several years ago.

FDA approved tests found "pre-washed" isn't the same as "clean." Most had bacterial counts in the tens of thousands.

Health authorities, including Dr. Chung, advise consumers to carefully wash all produce, including pre-bagged, until the source of the North Texas infections is found.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/health/2014/08/19/14076790/