More than 100 additional cases of cyclospora infection have been reported by federal health officials related to McDonald’s salads. (Photo by McDonald's)
Update 5:46 p.m. EDT Aug. 10: As of Aug. 9, 436 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclospora infection were reported after consumption of salads from McDonald's restaurants, according to information released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Original report: More than 100 additional cases of cyclospora infection have been reported by federal health officials Thursday related to McDonald’s salads.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement Thursday that the total number of confirmed illnesses from the parasite outbreak is now 395.
“As of August 2, 2018, a total of 395 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection were reported in people who consumed salads from McDonald’s restaurants; the cases were reported by 15 states,” the statement said.
The 15 reporting states as of Aug. 2 are Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida and Missouri.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 16 people have been hospitalized and those who reported illness range in age from 14 to 91 years old. The Connecticut, Tennessee and Virginia cases bought salads while traveling in Illinois, and the Florida case bought a salad while traveling in Kentucky.
The outbreak was first reported in May. In July, the departments of public health in Illinois and Iowa were investigating some McDonald’s locations after people became ill after eating their salads.
In July, more states reported an outbreak. At the time, McDonald’s said in a statement that it decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at affected restaurants in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, Virginia and Missouri.
Symptoms of cyclospora infection include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue. The FDA recommends those who have symptoms contact their health provider.
According to the CDC, 163 people in 10 states have gotten ill. No deaths have been reported, but there have been three hospitalizations.
On July 13, McDonald’s decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at affected restaurants in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, Virginia and Missouri until it can switch to another salad supplier. More than 3,000 locations are affected.
“The additional states identified by the FDA and CDC are among the same states where, a week ago, we proactively decided to remove our lettuce blend in impacted restaurants and replace it through a different supplier,” the restaurant said in a statement Friday. “McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality and we continue to cooperate and support regulatory and public health officials in their investigations.”
According to the FDA, the restaurant's removal of affected salads means it is unlikely to put customers who eat at those locations at risk.’
Symptoms of Cyclospora infection include loss of weight and appetite, frequent watery diarrhea, cramping, bloating and increased gas, a low-grade fever, fatigue and nausea. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may also occur, according to the CDC. Some infected with don’t have symptoms.
“This summer there have been several clusters of Cyclospora illness associated with various foods that are commercially available. This week IDPH has identified 15 Iowans who ate McDonald’s salads in late June to early July prior to getting ill,” Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in a statement. “Anyone who ate these salads since the middle of June and who developed diarrhea, especially watery diarrhea and fatigue, should see their health care provider and get tested for Cyclospora to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”
“Although a link has been made to salads sold in McDonald’s restaurants in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, said in a statement. “If you ate a salad from McDonald’s since mid-May and developed diarrhea and fatigue, contact a health care provider about testing and treatment.”
Symptoms of Cyclospora infection include loss of weight and appetite, frequent watery diarrhea, cramping, bloating and increased gas, a low-grade fever, fatigue and nausea. Vomiting is less common, but could still be a symptom of infection.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier,” McDonald’s told People in a statement. “We are in the process of removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants primarily located in the Midwest.
“McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control,” the burger chain added. “We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate.”