McDonald’s Salads May Be Linked to Parasitic Outbreak in Illinois and Iowa

mcdonalds salad
McDonald's Salad Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Not exactly a Happy Meal! Several customers who visited McDonald’s locations in Illinois and Iowa have fallen ill with a parasitic intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis, and salads served by the fast food chain could be the culprit.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has identified at least 15 people who became ill after eating McDonald’s salads between late June and early July.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Public Health has identified at least 90 patients who have been infected with the parasite, with a quarter of those afflicted consuming McDonald’s salads before they became sick.

mcdonalds salad
McDonald’s Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Anyone who ate these salads since the middle of June and who developed diarrhea, especially watery diarrhea and fatigue, should see their health care provider and get tested for cyclospora to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment,” Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in a warning on the IDPH website.

Illinois Public Health Department Director Nirav D. Shah issued a similar statement while asserting that “public health officials continue to investigate other sources.”

McDonald’s is cooperating with investigations in both states and is also complying with CDC and FDA regulations.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier,” spokesperson Khim Aday tells Us Weekly. “We are in the process of removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers … McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate.”

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