Products from supplier are linked to dozens of reports of gastrointestinal illnesses
Iowa’s Department of Public Health said Thursday 15 people in that state reported getting sick with cyclospora infections after eating McDonald’s salads between late June and early July.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said 90 people have been sickened by cyclosporiasis, and that a quarter of them reported eating salads from McDonald’s before becoming ill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Friday that 61 people in seven states, including Iowa and Illinois, have become ill from cyclosporiasis linked to McDonald’s salads, with two hospitalizations. There have been no deaths.
The Food and Drug Administration said it is working with McDonald’s to identify the common ingredients in the salads eaten by those who became sick and to trace those ingredients through the supply chain.
McDonald’s said it had pulled the salads out of “an abundance of caution,” from restaurants that received shipments from a supplier that had distributed the salads to restaurants in Iowa and Illinois. The 3,000 restaurants are located in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri.
The CDC said in June that it was investigating a multistate outbreak of cyclosporiasis linked to vegetable trays made by Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. As of July 12, the CDC said 227 people had been sickened who ate the company’s prepackaged vegetable trays which included broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dill dip.
Del Monte in June voluntarily recalled a limited quantity of its vegetable trays sold to select retailers—including Kwik Trip Inc. and Peapod LLC—in six Midwestern states.
A spokesman for the FDA said there is no evidence to suggest the cyclospora illnesses linked to McDonald’s salads and Del Monte vegetable trays are related.
McDonald’s said the supplier in question isn’t Del Monte.
McDonald’s said it plans to switch to another lettuce-blend supplier and that it is cooperating with state and federal health officials.
Cyclospora are parasites that can contaminate food or water and are common in some tropical and subtropical regions. Food-borne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the U.S. are rare and have been linked to various types of imported produce, according to the CDC. Symptoms of such an infection include diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue.