Last week, McDonald's temporarily halted salad sales in roughly 3,000 impacted restaurants in 14 states including Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri.
The illnesses started on or after May 1, according to the FDA. The company is switching to another salad supplier. Three of the victims have been hospitalized.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating an outbreak of cyclosporiasis that they say is likely linked to lettuce in the popular fast food chain's salads.
On July 13, The number of cases surged to 61 people in seven states, including 29 in IL, 16 in Iowa, seven in Missouri, three in Minnesota, two Nebraska, two in South Dakota, and two in Wisconsin, said the health agency.
Following initial reports of the outbreak, McDonald's said it was voluntarily removing salads from some locations and distribution centers "out of an abundance of caution", with plans to restock restaurants with salads from other suppliers. Though there have been several hospitalizations, there have been no deaths reported.
The FDA sent out an update on the outbreak of cyclosporiasis Thursday saying the illnesses have been reported in 10 states, including Kentucky.
A recall was issued on June 15 of 6-ounce, 12-ounce and 28-ounce trays containing those items in clear, plastic clamshell packaging.
Cyclospora cayetanensis (cyclospora) is a parasite composed of a single cell, too small to be seen without a microscope.
"Some water had to become contaminated and then used to irrigate the crops that become salad", said Martin Bucknavage, a Pennsylvania State University food safety expert.
Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. "Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another". Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms are also relatively common. When left untreated, symptoms of Cyclosporiasis can last over a month.
The FDA and the CDC said they hadn't identified which ingredient in the salads was the "vehicle for the outbreak". If you ate at a McDonald's restaurant since mid-May 2018 and have been sick with these symptoms, you may be part of this McDonald's cyclospora outbreak.