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FDA: Parasite Outbreak Linked To McDonald's Salads

July 20, 2018 - 4:45 pm

(WWJ) A parasite linked to McDonald's salads is believed to be responsible for a multi-state outbreak. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with state and local officials, are investigating after 163 people in 10 states were diagnosed with cyclosporiasis illnesses

The CDC said the outbreak has hit Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Last Friday McDonald's voluntarily stopped selling salads in all of the affected states as well as others where officials believe the lettuce blend may have also been contaminated. This includes McDonald's locations in Michigan, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia. 

The CDC says there people have been hospitalized in connection with the outbreak, but no one has died. 

FDA has not identified which of the ingredients used in the salads is the vehicle for this outbreak; multiple components of these salads are under consideration. 

As an investigation continues, the FDA said it's working with McDonald’s to identify the common ingredients in the salads identified by those who became sick and to trace back those ingredients through the supply chain. 

According to the FDA, cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic parasite of humans. This parasite, when it contaminates food or water and is then ingested, can cause an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.

Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times.

Anyone with these symptoms should contact their doctor.

For more information and updates on the outbreak, visit this link