WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Basil recall prompted by foodborne parasite

Jul 31, 2019
Originally published on July 26, 2019 1:11 pm

The federal Food and Drug Administration and the New York State Department of Health have warned people not to eat certain basil products. Authorities said some imported basil has likely made people sick.


The New York state health department said 69 cases of cyclosporiasis have been identified in people who ate at restaurants or attended events in the capital region, but local authorities warned people across the state to be careful.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by a one-celled parasite that the FDA said may have been carried on the basil.

The federal lagency has linked basil imported from Mexico by Siga Logistics with cases of the disease.

Cyclosporiasis most often causes diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue, although some people who are infected do not feel any symptoms, the FDA said.

The federal government said it’s coordinating a voluntary recall with Siga Logistics. Until then, the FDA is encouraged people to throw away any basil, or products containing it, like pesto, if they’re not sure of its origin. That advice holds, authorities said, "even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick."

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