McDonald’s salads possibly linked to cases of cyclosporiasis

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is warning residents in the state about a possible link between McDonald’s salads and an intestinal illness.

There has been 90 cases of cyclosporiasis, which is caused by microscopic Cyclospora parasite. The cases have been reported in counties across the states with people becoming ill starting in mid-May.

An investigation indicates a link to consumption of salads made at McDonald’s restaurants. 1/4 of the cases had reports of people eating salads from those restaurants in the days before they became ill.

“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,” says IDPH Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah. “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.”

McDonald’s says it is in the process of removing these salads from its restaurants and distributions centers. The fast food chain also says it’s re-supplying restaurants with salads from other suppliers.

Symptoms usually begin about a week after exposure, although some people who are infected may not have any. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Frequent bouts of watery diarrhea (the most common symptom)
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Cramping, bloating, and/or increased gas
  • Nausea (vomiting is less common)
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever

The illness can be treated with specific antibiotics. If you do not receive treatment, the illness may last for a few days to a month or longer.

For more information about the illness click here.

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