According to a Health Protection Agency (HPA) press release, the HPA announced findings of an investigation into an outbreak of Cryptosporidium infection that affected around 300 people in England and Scotland in May 2012. The investigation showed strong evidence of an association with eating pre-cut bagged salad products, which are likely to have been labeled as ‘ready-to-eat’.

This “somewhat” contradictory advice followed the report:

Dr. Alison Gleadle, director of food safety at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), said:  “We’d like to remind everyone of our usual advice to wash all fruits and vegetables, including salad, before you eat them, unless they are labeled ‘ready-to-eat’.

Hmm, interesting advice.

The Cryptosporidium parasite causes the disease cryptosporidiosis. The most common symptom is diarrhea, which can range from mild to severe. There are a number of potential sources, including consumption of contaminated water or food, swimming in contaminated water or through contact with contaminated food or affected animals.

The full press release can be found here.  A summary of the investigation’s findings has been published in the HPA’s Health Protection Report.