McDonald's has a disaster on its plate as over 160 people have reported illnesses connected to McSalads. Doctors are reporting the McDonald's salads were contaminated to the Cyclospora parasite, a microscopic parasite transmitted through ingesting fecal matter (poop).
Reports of contamination jumped from 61 up to 163 in only a week, and three of the victims have now been hospitalized.
@HuffPost Stick with the fries, people.— JGutierrezKrueger (@JGutierrezKrueger) 1532373507.0
When reports of illnesses began flowing in, McDonald's stopped selling salads in the affected states: "Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri." Once the company finds a new lettuce supplier, sales are expected to begin again.
@BradTakei @GeorgeTakei I only go to McDonald's for their drinks and ice cream, but this revelation is making me reconsider that decision.— AO Fukai (Chris Online) (@AO Fukai (Chris Online)) 1532464848.0
McDonald's also issued a statement:
We have removed lettuce blend provided by Fresh Express' Streamwood, Illinois, facility. Many restaurants already have a new lettuce blend supply, while we expect all identified restaurants will have new supply in the next few days.
@CNN This is appropriate for anyone who orders a salad at a McDonald's.— Robert Woo (@Robert Woo) 1532056837.0
The FDA reports that illnesses began around May 1, and that the contaminated salads have affected people between "16 and 87 years old and 66 percent are female."
@CBSNews This just proves that nothing good has ever come from eating a salad. https://t.co/3A6Q6cmaRX— Toilet Seat Kati (@Toilet Seat Kati) 1532116132.0
Fresh Express, with whom McDonald's has cut ties regarding their lettuce, commented in an email to USA Today:
At this time, despite the intensive investigation by federal authorities and state health agencies around the country, no source has yet been named for this outbreak.The decision by McDonald's to change suppliers of certain components should in no way suggest that Fresh Express is implicated as a source.
@CBSNews Could be the same thing that was happening at Panera Bread with their Caesar salad. They had to switch sou… https://t.co/wyyLKIkbGc— Dewey Holleman (@Dewey Holleman) 1531655641.0
The FDA expects still more reports of illnesses to arrive since "Cyclospora infections...may take up to six weeks to be clearly identified," and there is often a "lag time" between a victim's first symptoms and reporting them.
The investigation is ongoing with the FDA reviewing distribution & supplier info. Consumers with symptoms (diarrhea… https://t.co/MtzVm1DbYu— U.S. FDA (@U.S. FDA) 1532052728.0
Cyclosporiasis is most often associated with watery diarrhea, so if you've been to a McDonald's in the past month and find yourself making frequent trips to the bathroom, you might want to head to a doctor. And next time you're looking for a salad, perhaps McDonald's isn't the best place for it.