Food Safety Magazine

News | July 15, 2018

McDonald’s Salads Linked to Midwest Cyclospora Outbreak

By Staff

McDonald’s Salads Linked to Midwest Cyclospora Outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health officials, is investigating a cluster of cyclosporiasis illnesses likely linked to salads from fast food giant McDonald’s.

As of FDA’s update released on July 13, this multistate outbreak had sickened 61 people in seven states. Two individuals were hospitalized. No deaths have been associated with this outbreak. As a result of the illnesses, McDonald’s voluntarily halted the sale of salads at the affected restaurants in 14 states, overwhelmingly situated in the Midwest region of the U.S.

“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. There’s still a lot to learn about this outbreak, and we appreciate that McDonald’s has removed salads from the menu in impacted restaurants while we work to determine whether they are in fact linked to the outbreak. We will continue to share our progress toward these goals and provide updates as we learn more,” says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “It’s early in the investigation, but we are taking steps now to help ensure consumers know about the potentially contaminated product so that they can better protect themselves or seek treatment, especially if they have signs or symptoms of a Cyclospora infection. This is especially important as Cyclospora is not commonly tested for in a health care setting, so consumers who may think they have been exposed should raise their concerns with their health care professional.”

FDA says they are working closely with McDonald’s to identify the common ingredients in the salads identified by those who became sick and to trace back those ingredients through the supply chain. At this time, FDA says they do not have evidence to suggest that this cluster of illnesses is related to the ongoing Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays.

FDA will continue to update the public with new and updated product information, epidemiological results, and/or recalls as more information becomes available.

Learn more about Cyclospora, including common signs and symptoms of the disease. 

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