Rise in foodborne illness could be linked to McDonald's salads - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Rise in foodborne illness could be linked to McDonald's salads

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received confirmation of approximately 90 cases of cyclosporiasis.  Cases have been reported in counties across Illinois with people becoming ill starting in mid-May. 

The initial investigation indicates indicates a link to consumption of McDonald's salads produced for their restaurants.  Approximately one-fourth of Illinois cases reported eating salads from McDonald's in the days before they became ill.  The Iowa Department of Health has noted a similar increase in cases. 

The fast food chain is fully cooperating with state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ad the Food and Drug Administration investigations.  McDonald's says it is the process of removing these salads from its restaurants and distribution centers. McDonald's says it is resupplying restaurants with salads from other suppliers.  

Cyclosporiasis is a pathogenic protozoan transmitted by feces or feces-contaminated food and water. Outbreaks have been reported due to contaminated fruits and vegetables. Symptoms usually begins about a week after exposure.  Symptoms include the following:

  • Frequent bouts of watery diarrhea (the most common symptom)
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Cramping, bloating, and/or increased gas
  • Nausea (vomiting is less common)
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever

Cyclosora infection can be treated with specific antibiotics.  If not treated illness can last from days to months or longer. 

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