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Imported produce infections increase in Minn.

ST. PAUL -- An increase in cyclospora infections, spread through consumption of imported fresh produce, has affected at least three dozen Minnesotans and has prompted the Minnesota Department of Health to further its investigation.

One outbreak has been identified among people who ate at Sonora Grill in Minneapolis in mid-May, the health department said. To date, 17 customers have reported illness. The restaurant is fully cooperating with the investigation, and investigators say they do not have any indication that there is an ongoing risk to patrons.

Washing of imported produce, or routine chemical disinfection or sanitizing methods, are unlikely to kill cyclospora, the health department said. Symptoms typically include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss. People typically become ill about a week after exposure, but this period can range from 2-14 days.

To better identify the source of infection, MDH investigators want to speak with people who ate at Sonora Grill over the weekend of May 18- 20, regardless of whether they became ill.

The other outbreak has been linked to Del Monte vegetable trays purchased at Kwik Trip locations. To date, 20 cases have been identified in this outbreak, the health department said.

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