McDonald's parasite outbreak sickens almost 400 people

Roman Schwartz
August 5, 2018

Almost 400 people across 15 states have become ill after eating salads from McDonald's, including 16 patients who had to be hospitalized. Patients in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Virginia bought their contaminated salads in IL while traveling. The outbreak started in May, and the FDA reported an additional 109 cases on Thursday.

Fresh Express, based in Salinas, California, supplied bagged salad mixes likely tainted with cyclospora to McDonald's franchises in the Midwest, the FDA said.

Symptoms of Cyclospora infection can include diarrhea, explosive bowel movements, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, increase gas, nausea and fatigue. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms can also occur.

It can last anywhere from several days to a few months, and can be treated with antibiotics. Fresh Express said in a statement that it initiated a precautionary recall July 27. In response, McDonald's has stopped selling salads in 3,000 USA restaurants until they can replace their lettuce supplier.

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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".

Concerned that the romaine lettuce and carrots are still on the market, the FDA instructed Fresh Express to give a report.

McDonald's salads have been linked to even more cases of cyclosporiasis.

Pre-made salads and wraps sold at McDonald's locations were affected with Cyclospora.

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