McDonald's Faecal Matter Issue: Salad Outbreak Causes 395 Cases Of Illness

A display for McDonald's Asian Salad in a McDonald's restaurant in Oakbrook Illinois on June 25 2006

McDonald's salads have infected 395 people with Cyclospora in 15 states as of August 2.

The FDA provided the updated 395 case count on August 2, which follows a July 20 statement from McDonald's that announced the fast-food conglomerate had removed affected products from shelves at impacted locations, and replaced it with a lettuce blend from a different supplier. The illnesses have been linked to salad mix contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite, which is spread through fecal matter. Sick individuals can also suffer from vomiting, nausea, gas and fatigue. Symptoms can last a few days or several months. The analysis found Cyclospora in a sample from an unused package of salad mix with romaine lettuce and carrots.

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The outbreak has affected customers in 15 states: Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. In response, McDonald's has stopped selling salads in 3,000 USA restaurants until they can replace their lettuce supplier.

In the alert, the USDA said the issue was discovered when Indianapolis-based food distributor Caito Foods "received notification from their lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, that the chopped romaine that is used to manufacture some of their salads and wraps was being recalled".

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McDonald's released a statement on July 13 saying they had been in contact with public health officials notifying them about an increase in Cyclospora infections in Iowa and IL.

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