Illness linked to imported produce finds foothold in Texas

Markets Associated Press

Health officials are trying to determine why there's been a dramatic increase in the number of people in Texas each year who contract a food-borne illness that's often linked to produce imported from Mexico and other warmer climes.

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Although there have been outbreaks in several states in recent years, cyclosporiasis infection rates returned to normal levels after the sources were contained.

But in Texas, the number of cases shot up from 44 in 2012 to 351 in 2013 and has remained in the triple digits ever since.

Cyclosporiais is an intestinal illness caused by a parasite that infects people who consume contaminated food or water.

Food safety advocates question whether regulations abroad are enough to protect consumers as the U.S. imports a growing volume of produce from Mexico and elsewhere.