ORLANDO, FLA. – The Mexican lettuce farm linked to a food-poisoning outbreak at Olive Gardens and Red Lobsters in two states is back in production but will step up its safety procedures, federal officials said Tuesday.
But Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, which owns the chains, said it won’t immediately start using salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico again.
Darden is still using salad mix from Taylor Farms’ domestic fields, but a spokesman said the company wants to get more information from the federal government and Taylor before buying from the Mexico farm once more.
The Food and Drug Administration said in a statement Tuesday that Taylor Farms de Mexico resumed shipping lettuce to the United States this week. The company had voluntarily ceased operations after being linked to the outbreak of the rare parasite cyclospora.
The investigation found the company was working “in accordance with known food safety protocols,” but the FDA said Taylor Farms has agreed to sample its water and produce for cyclospora at its Mexican farm.
Earlier this month, the FDA linked the outbreak to Iowa and Nebraska to a salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico served at an undetermined number of Olive Gardens and Red Lobsters in those states.
Taylor Farms could not be reached for comment.
Cyclospora, which causes a number of symptoms including diarrhea and fatigue, has sickened more than 600 people this summer in 22 states.