The number of people sickened in the McDonald’s salad Cyclospora outbreak is now 507, federal health officials said. Twenty-four victims have been hospitalized.
Illnesses have been reported in 16 states: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and New York.
The patients in Connecticut, New York, Tennessee and Virginia all purchased their salads while they were visiting Illinois, and the Florida patient purchased their salad while in Kentucky, the CDC said.
McDonald’s salad Cyclospora outbreak: timeline
“Epidemiologic evidence indicates that salads purchased from McDonald’s restaurants are one likely source of these infections,” the CDC said. “The investigation is ongoing, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to determine the sources of the ingredients that were in common to the salads served at McDonald’s.”
The CDC and FDA have been joined by state and local health departments in investigating this McDonald’s salad Cyclospora outbreak. The timeline of the investigation, as reported by the CDC:
- On July 26, the FDA completed analysis of an unused package of romaine lettuce and carrot mix distributed to McDonald’s by the Fresh Express processor located in Streamwood, Illinois. The analysis confirmed the presence of Cyclospora.
- On July 27, the FDA informed Fresh Express of the results. Fresh Express officials reported to the FDA that the carrots in the mix went ONLY to McDonald’s restaurant locations, and that the romaine lettuce was the only ingredient in the mix that was distributed to other locations. Romaine from the same lot that was positive for Cyclospora was distributed in pre-made salads and wraps distributed by Caito Foods LLC of Indianapolis. Fresh Express also reported that no romaine lettuce from the lot that was positive for Cyclospora was packaged for direct retail sale to consumers.
McDonald’s salad Cyclospora outbreak: pre-made salads, wraps
On July 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) also issued a public health alert about pre-made salads and wraps containing romaine lettuce that were distributed by Caito Foods.
The pre-made salads and wraps, which were shipped to distribution centers nationwide, were produced July 15 to July 18 and have a “Best By,” “Enjoy by,” “Best if Sold By,” or “Sell By” date ranging from July 18 through July 23.
The products have establishment number “EST. 39985” or “P-39985” inside or next to the USDA mark of inspection. (See the full list of products, product labels, UPC code numbers, and other identifying information here.)
McDonald’s salad Cyclospora outbreak: 2nd this summer
Cyclospora also caused more than 200 people to become sick in early July in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The victims had eaten contaminated Del Monte vegetable trays.
Del Monte recalled 6- and 12-ounce mixed vegetable trays (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) sold with dill dip. The trays also were sold in Indiana and Michigan. The FDA also said that a 28-ounce tray with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery and dip was recalled in Illinois and Indiana.
“FDA has not identified which of the ingredients is the vehicle for this outbreak; each component of these vegetable trays is under consideration,” the FDA said. “FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information related to the vegetable trays; the investigation is ongoing.”
McDonald’s salad Cyclospora outbreak: parasite info
The Cyclospora parasite produces an illness called cyclosporiasis that affects the intestines. People can become sick by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the parasite.
Cyclosporiasis symptoms include:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal cramps
- bloating, gasiness, nausea
- weight loss
People who have cyclosporiasis also can experience vomiting and a low-grade fever, but those symptoms are less common.
It is possible to become infected with Cyclospora more than once.
When to see a doctor
Most foodborne illnesses include diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress among their symptoms. If you develop diarrhea that lasts several days or even recurs, contact your doctor.
If you have consumed food recalled because of a Cyclospora outbreak, tell your doctor.
If you become deyhdrated because of a prolonged case of diarrhea, see your doctor immediately. Dehydration warning signs include:
- dry mouth
- sunken eyes
- lack of tears
- decreased urine output.