FDA: Nearly 400 now sickened by McDonald's salads

Marco Green
August 4, 2018

The illnesses have been linked to salad mix contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite, which is spread through fecal matter. The CDC received reports of people feeling ill after eating at a McDonald's restaurant in Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Infected people shed unsporulated (non-infective; immature) Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in their stool; immature oocysts usually require at least 1-2 weeks under favorable laboratory conditions to sporulate and become infective. Symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite.

Patients from Connecticut, Tennessee and Virginia bought their contaminated salads while traveling in IL. The parasite causes an intestinal illness that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and body aches and can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Flu-like symptoms may also be noted.

"Epidemiologic evidence indicates that salads purchased from McDonald's restaurants are one likely source of these infections". Fresh Express said in a statement that it initiated a precautionary recall July 27.

The FDA says there are now 109 additional cases - bringing the total number to 395. Fresh Express reported that the positive sample of salads containing romaine lettuce was not for direct retail sale as they have expired already and the carrots used in the salad mix were only distributed to McDonald's restaurants.

The statement said, "Fresh Express follows rigid food safety requirements and preventive controls throughout our supply chain that are carefully created to mitigate against potential health risks". The products were sold by grocery stores including Kroger, Trader Joe's and Walgreens.

The FDA said the investigation into the outbreak is ongoing, and that the agency "is now reviewing distribution and supplier information for romaine and carrots".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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