More people sickened by parasite in outbreak linked to McDonald’s salads

Posted at 11:02 PM, Jul 19, 2018

More illnesses have been reported across the United States in two separate cyclospora outbreaks, federal health officials said Thursday.

In less than a week, the number of cases of reported illness from eating McDonald’s salads rose from 61 to 163.

The US Food and Drug Administration announced the latest count on Thursday: 163 people in 10 states, which includes three hospitalizations and no deaths. The FDA is working with McDonald’s to identify the salad ingredients making people sick and to trace them through the supply chain.

As a precaution, McDonald’s has stopped selling the salads in 3,000 fast food restaurants in 14 states to try to contain the outbreak, the FDA said. The states are Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 237 cases of cyclosporiasis in people who reportedly consumed Del Monte Fresh vegetable trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dill dip. The reports came from four states, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. Seven people were hospitalized and no deaths were reported.

A recall was issued on June 15 of 6-ounce, 12-ounce and 28-ounce trays containing those items in clear, plastic clamshell packaging. Trays have a “Best if used by” date of June 17, 2018 and were sold at Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond’s, Sentry, Potash, Meehan’s, Country Market, FoodMax Supermarket, and Peapod stores in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Health officials said there was no evidence to suggest that the cluster of illnesses linked to McDonald’s salads is related to the ongoing cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte Fresh vegetable trays.

The cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness as a result of consuming contaminated food or water.

The symptoms, which can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite, include diarrhea and frequent, sometimes explosive bowel movements, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those infected can experience loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, gas and fatigue. Vomiting, headache, fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms can also occur.

The illness can last from a few days to a few months and patients might feel better, then get worse again. Patients can be treated with antibiotics.