Have you been buying cilantro grown in Mexico from the market? You might want to think twice before purchasing any more of the imported herb.

Fresh cilantro from Puebla, a state in Mexico, is being banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “after health officials found human feces and toilet paper in growing fields,” according to Bloomberg.

The tainted cilantro has been linked to an illness called cyclosporiasis. In 2014, hundreds of people in 19 U.S. states contracted the illness, which is caused by a parasite transmitted either by feces or feces-contaminated fresh produce and water. Of those 304 people affected, 64 percent were from Texas and 57 percent said they consumed fresh cilantro before feeling sick, according to Bloomberg.


Photo: Flickr

The symptoms of cyclosporiasis include diarrhea and explosive bowel movements, which sound absolutely horrible. Bloomberg talks about the specifics of the FDA cilantro ban:

“The Food and Drug Administration will detain Mexican cilantro at the border from April to August and won’t allow products from the state of Puebla, Mexico, into the U.S. without inspections and certification, according to an import ban dated Monday by the agency. Cilantro from other parts of Mexico will need documentation to prove the product isn’t from Puebla, about a two-hour drive southeast of Mexico City.”

Before you swear to never eat at Chipotle, Taco Bell, or your favorite taco truck ever again, hear us out. Chipotle tells Bloomberg that all its cilantro comes from California, and a spokeswoman for Taco Bell says that its cilantro also comes from The Golden State. And if you’re questioning where the cilantro comes from at your favorite al pastor truck, simply ask the owner.


Photo: Flickr

Despite the high probability that your Chalupa is not contaminated, the FDA’s findings are cause for concern. Bloomberg reports on the conditions at the farms in Puebla, 

“Since 2013, the FDA and Mexican authorities have inspected 11 farms and packing houses that produce cilantro from Puebla. At eight, health officials found bathrooms without soap, toilet paper or running water, in addition to the human feces and toilet paper in growing fields. Some had a complete lack of toilet facilities.”

Here we are thinking it’s street meat that’s causing explosive bowel movements—but really, it’s the herbs on top.

[via Bloomberg, Quartz]