The FDA said Saturday it would step up its surveillance of "green leafy products" from Mexico, after a rare parasite linked to a lettuce supplier there caused illness in more than 400 people in 16 U.S. states.
The parasite, known as cyclosporiasis, was first identified at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in Iowa and Nebraska and has since been discovered in Texas and numerous other states.
Imported food is getting the kind of attention these days that no product wants. Health officials in Iowa and Nebraska are blaming salad greens for making hundreds of people sick with a parasite called cyclospora. That parasite usually comes from the tropics, so it's likely the salad did, too. Earlier this summer, pomegranate seeds from Turkey were linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A.
Here's some news for parents of the sippy-cup crowd: The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a 10 parts-per-billion threshold for levels of inorganic arsenic in apple juice. This is the same level set by the EPA for arsenic in drinking water. Right now, there is no FDA standard for apple juice.
Now, we've told you about the brouhaha over trace levels of arsenic commonly found in apple juice before.