This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product can cause serious, adverse health consequences.
According to multiple sources, McDonald’s, the popular burger franchise, has removed salads from over 3,000 restaurants in 14 different states after some of their products were linked to gastrointestinal illnesses in Iowa and Illinois.
The Department of Public Health, located in Iowa, reported that 15 people were diagnosed with cyclospora infections after eating McDonald’s salads between late June and early July. Because the parasite could take days to actually sicken a person, the outbreak could potentially just be getting started.
Wall Street Journal reports on the McDonald’s outbreak:
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.
According to Mayoclinic, the symptoms of cyclospora are as follows:
- Frequent, watery diarrhea
- Bouts of diarrhea alternating with bouts of constipation
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Bloating, flatulence and burping
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches
- Fatigue — this symptom may last long after the active infection has gotten better
- General feeling of unwellness (malaise)
The parasitic infection is typically not deadly, but can pose potential risks in infants and elderly people. It is advised that you see a doctor immediately if you recently ate a McDonald’s salad and begin to exhibit some of the signs of dehydration due to diarrhea, such as:
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Reduced production of tears
- Decreased urine output
NBC News adds to the story:
At least 61 people in seven states have been made sick in an outbreak of Cyclospora linked to McDonald’s salads, federal health officials said Friday.
The fast-food chain has stopped selling the salads, but more people may become sick, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Salads at McDonald’s restaurants in at least 14 states may have been contaminated, the CDC and FDA said.
“We understand how important it is to quickly identify the cause of this foodborne outbreak to help reduce additional illness and we’re working closely with our colleagues at CDC and state partners to get more answers,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.