The United States Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are currently investigating a multi-state parasite outbreak that has infected over 100 people.
The parasite is cyclosporiasis which has been linked to McDonald's salads. Officials believe the parasite is not related to Del Monte's pre-cut vegetable and dip trays recall.
As of July 17, officials reported that the infected salads had been pulled from the multi-national fast food chain in 14 states. There have been more than 3,000 restaurants that have removed the salads from the restaurant.
“Many ill people reported eating salads from McDonald’s restaurants located in the Midwest. People reported eating a variety of McDonald’s salads,” according to the CDC.
The states involved are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
"McDonald’s has been in contact with public health authorities from Iowa and Illinois about an increase in Cyclospora infections in those states," McDonald's said in a statement. "In addition, the CDC also has received reports of people who became sick in Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin who ate salads sold at McDonald’s locations in those states."
The statement continues, "Out of an abundance of caution, we voluntarily stopped selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier. We have removed existing lettuce blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers."
As of last Friday, the CDC reports that there are 61 people in seven states sick. However, Illinois reports 90 confirmed cases in their state alone.
There is a discrepancy in the number of ill people, but that is not uncommon with cyclosporiasis. There can be up to a six week lag time between when an individual is sick from the parasite and when their lab results are confirmed by federal officials, according to "Food Safety News."
At this time, officials do not know what ingredient is the source of the parasite. Investigators are working closely with McDonald's to trace the microscopic parasite.
Officials believe the salads containing the parasite started on or after May 1, and the first confirmed case of someone becoming sick was July 10. The people who are ill range in age from 16 to 79 years old.
The CDC advises that if you have this product in your home, do not eat it. If you are showing signs of diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite, stomach cramps/pain, nausea, and fatigue after consuming this product, you are asked to seek medical attention.
Be sure to share this information with your family and friends.