Outbreak of Cyclospora: what you need to know and how to reduce risk of infection

BacteriaAccording to CTV News report earlier today, public health officials are warning about an outbreak of Cyclospora infections in Canada, with several dozen cases under investigation. The illnesses began in May and have been reported mostly in Ontario, with a few cases in B.C., Alberta and Quebec. As indicated on the website of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the source of the outbreak has not been found.

Cyclospora is a microscopic parasite that can cause a form of food poisoning called cyclosporiasis.

What can you do to reduce the risk of infection for you, your family, your staff and your patrons?

  • After using the bathroom, always wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds.
  • Washing your hands is especially important if you are about to handle food.
  • After preparing raw foods, always wash your hands. Also wash counters, and any cutting boards, knives and utensils you used.
  • Before you prepare and eat vegetables and fruits, wash them thoroughly.
  • Use a brush to scrub produce with firm surfaces, like potatoes and carrots (even if you peel them).
  • Scrub rough fruit like oranges and cantaloupes, so the inside is not contaminated when the fruit is peeled or cut.

As reported, it is not clear if all cyclospora can be completely eliminated from fresh food because the parasite is microscopically small. But thorough washing is thought to at least reduce the risk of contamination.

You can contact Swish to find out what cleaning products can be best suited for the above practices at home and in your organization.

This entry was posted in Infection Control, News & Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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