MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – McDonald’s will no longer sell salads at restaurants in 14 states, including Minnesota, following an outbreak of intestinal illnesses linked to them.
Health officials say there have been 163 reports of people with illnesses associated with the cyclospora parasite since the outbreak was announced a week ago. Three who had fallen ill were hospitalized.
Transmitted in foods tainted by fecal matter, cyclospora can cause stomach cramps, nausea and flu-like symptoms a week or more after someone consumes food or liquid contaminated with the parasite.
Links to the illness are currently being investigated in nine states, including Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. A Florida resident also became ill after purchasing a salad while traveling in Kentucky.
The outbreak, first reported in Illinois and Iowa, prompted the fast-food chain to temporarily stop selling salads at the restaurants identified as possible sites of contamination. The company also said it was switching lettuce suppliers.
As of July 13, McDonald’s had decided to stop selling salads at restaurants in 14 states, according to the FDA. They are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Food and Drug Administration is working with McDonald’s to identify the ingredients that may have made people sick.