Marler said cyclospora patients in states not yet tied to Taylor farms may have eaten food from the same growing area or processing facility but whose products are sold under different brand names. Or it could be a different cross-contaminated product altogether.
Lawyer Tony Coveny of law firm Simon and Luke, who focuses on food poisoning and represents Provost and about a dozen other cyclospora victims, said he's not surprised the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention need more time to confirm the source of the outbreak. If they announce the wrong name, it will cost that company millions of dollars and could damage the FDA's relationship with members of the food industry for other future investigations.
"The nice thing about salads being linked to a particular batch is that they have a short shelf life," he said, adding that it's fortunate that the product at the center of the outbreak isn't a canned good with a long shelf life. "It's less likely to have a huge public impact by failing to recall the lettuce. It's only on the shelf a week or two anyway."
Although Provost is 15 pounds lighter than she was before she became infected with cyclospora at the end of June, she said she's doing better after a trip to the emergency room and a round of antibiotics. Although she gets a sense of relief having an idea of where her illness came from, she said she wishes she'd known earlier.
"It makes me upset that it wasn't disclosed sooner," she said. "That [Olive Garden is] where it came from and I've been wondering."