Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigators admit they failed to get a handle on a serious Cyclosporiasis outbreak that has now affected 609 people in 22 states.

It has been 56 days since the CDC first announced the outbreak of a single-celled parasite known as Cyclospora cayetanesis, and still investigators are not certain of the source of origin.

In two investigative updates, one from state epidemiologists in Iowa and Nebraska and one from the U.S. Food and Drug Administrative (FDA), a salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico was linked to the outbreak in those two states, reaching consumers through Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. But CDC investigators are asking whether that conclusion can help explain the increase in ill persons with Cyclosporiasis in other states.

Those investigations have lead to a response from Taylor Farms, who suspended operations on Aug. 22.  Company officials say they informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the voluntary action, and in a release the company later said it will not resume operations without FDA clearance.

FDA said earlier this month an investigation had confirmed a number of individuals who became ill after eating salad mixes at Olive Garden and Red Lobster Restaurants in Iowa and Nebraska.

"This decision allows Taylor Farms de Mexico to focus more resources on assisting the FDA in their investigation of the June cyclospora outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska," the company said on its website Friday.

If you are enjoying reading this article, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.

In addition to an extended bout with diarrhea, victims infected by the parasite can suffer from nausea, abdominal pain, aches and pains, cramping and fever.

In spite of identifying salad mixes from Taylor Foods was the common source among multiple cases of the illness in two of the 22 states, the CDC says the problem may go deeper because infected individuals in other states did not appear to share that common source. Officials complain that work to trace the path of foods to one common source is labor intensive and requires a great deal of time.