FDA Investigates Multistate Outbreak of Cyclospora Illnesses Likely Linked to Salads from Fast Food Chain
Recalls Food Safety Health
U.S. Food & Drug Administration

June 15, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials have been investigating a cluster of cyclosporiasis illnesses likely linked with salads from McDonald’s.

Fast Facts

  • The FDA, CDC, along with state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis illnesses likely linked to salads from McDonald’s restaurants.
  • The CDC report that 61 people in 7 states have become ill. There have been 2 hospitalizations and no deaths.
  • As this is an ongoing investigation, the FDA will update this page as more information becomes available, such as product information, epidemiological results, and recalls.
  • The FDA is working 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.
  • As of July 13, 2018, McDonald’s has decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants in IL, IA, IN, WI, MI, OH, MN, NE, SD, MT, ND, KY, WV, and MO until they are able to switch to another salad supplier. More information can be found in McDonald’s Statement.
  • Consumers who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse).
  • At this time, we do not have evidence to suggest that this cluster of illnesses is related to the ongoing Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays.

What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

FDA, CDC, state, and local partners are currently investigating several Cyclospora illnesses associated with McDonald’s locations in IA, IL, MN, MO, NE, SD, and WI.

CDC has reported 61 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in persons from IA, IL, MN, MO, NE, SD, and WI who reportedly consumed salad products from several McDonald’s locations.

FDA has not identified which of the ingredients used in the salads is the vehicle for this outbreak; multiple components of these salads are under consideration. The investigation is ongoing and the FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information.

Consumers who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse).

At this time, we do not have evidence to suggest that this cluster of illnesses is related to the ongoing Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays.

What is Cyclospora?

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic parasite of humans. This parasite, when it contaminates food or water and is then ingested, can cause an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.

The Cyclospora parasite needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that cyclosporiasis is passed directly from one person to another.

What are the Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis?

Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse).

Who is at Risk?

Anyone who consumed salads from McDonald’s in IA, IL, MN, MO, NE, SD, and WI could have been exposed to the pathogen. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite.

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

The FDA is working 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.

  • Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. It is recommended that they wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food. Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where potentially contaminated products were stored.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store potentially contaminated products.
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
  • Regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help to minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms (relapse).

Who Should be Contacted?

Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days. The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to Submit An Inquiry, or to visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional information.

Additional Information

We aim to provide information about certain recalls that have the potential to negatively impact your health. For more information on these and other recalls, please refer to fda.gov and fsis.usda.gov.

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