McDonald’s Salad Parasite Outbreak Sickens 286 People In 15 States

Monday, July 30, 2018
By Paul Martin

Mac Slavo
July 30th, 2018

The fast food restaurant McDonald’s is having problems after a parasite outbreak linked to their salads is sickening people in 15 states. So far, 286 have become ill after ingesting the parasite found in the salads served at the restaurant.

As of July 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a total of 286 people in 15 states have been infected with a parasite called Cyclospora, an increase of 120 people in the last week alone, according to ABC News. So far, 11 people have been hospitalized, but thankfully, no deaths have been reported.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a Cyclospora infection (cyclosporiasis) causes watery, and sometimes explosive, diarrhea. The one-celled parasite that causes a Cyclospora infection can enter your body when you ingest contaminated food or water. Fresh produce is the culprit in many cases of Cyclospora infection in humans. The treatment for this parasitic infection is antibiotics and the infection is very often short-termed. Once someone ingests food or water that has been contaminated with Cyclospora, symptoms of the infection may not begin to manifest until about a week later, sometimes up to two weeks.

McDonald’s has voluntarily recalled their salads from over 3000 restaurants across 14 states beginning on July 13. But the people who ate those contaminated salads before July 13th may just be starting to develop symptoms which would prompt them to seek medical attention. Therefore, the official number of people infected by this parasite may continue to increase in the next few weeks as more reports come in.

Obviously, food safety measures, such as washing produce, can prevent the Cyclospora from being ingested. Peeling and cooking vegetables can also ensure parasites and infectious bacterium are killed before it’s eaten.

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