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FDA Investigates a Cyclospora Outbreak Potentially Associated with McDonald’s Salads

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along…

  • August 8, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with state and local officials, are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Cyclospora infections.

Cyclospora is a parasite that can cause severe intestinal illness, but can be treated. Although it’s unknown exactly how food and water become infected with Cyclospora, people should be aware that rinsing or washing food is not likely to remove it.

Last week, the Illinois and Iowa Health Departments identified McDonald’s salads as being potentially linked to cases of Cyclospora in both states.

McDonald’s has voluntarily stopped selling salads at affected restaurants across 14 states and the CDC reports that 61 people across seven states have gotten sick.

As part of this emerging investigation, the FDA is actively 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.

The Facts:

CDC reports that 61 people have gotten sick. Two people have been hospitalized. To date, no deaths have been reported. At this time, the cases are spread across seven states: IA, IL, MN, MO, NE, SD, and WI.

McDonald’s has identified that potentially contaminated product was distributed to some 3,000 stores to 14 states: IL, IA, IN, WI, MI, OH, MN, NE, SD, MT, ND, KY, WV, and MO.

FDA said it is working with McDonald’s to investigate the ingredients of the salads and trace them through the supply chain.

McDonald’s has voluntarily stopped selling salads at affected restaurants in their supply chain, so potentially contaminated product should not be available for consumers to purchase.

People who think they might have symptoms of a Cyclospora infection should consult their health care professional.

Common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. People may also experience vomiting, body aches, headache, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms.

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 (relapse). It’s common to feel very tired.

People with questions about food safety can call the FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

Find out more at www.fda.gov.

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