Health officials in IL and Iowa are investigating a link between McDonald's salads and a rash of illnesses caused by a parasite.
About one quarter of 90 people sickened since mid-May in IL reported eating a McDonald's salad in the days before falling ill, while an additional 15 cases were reported in Iowa.
Health officials say McDonald's will remove salads from some of its stores after they were linked to an outbreak of an intestinal illness. "This is especially important as Cyclospora is not commonly tested for in a health care setting, so consumers who may think they have been exposed should raise their concerns with their health care professional".
When ingested, it can cause a non-life-threatening intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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The fast food giant is cooperating with investigations, both health departments reported.
Symptoms of Cyclospora, a parasite common during the summer months, include frequent watery diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight, and nausea.
Previous cyclosporiasis cases have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce including raspberries, basil, snow peas, and lettuce. - McDonald's voluntarily stopped selling salads at affected restaurants in their supply chain, so potentially contaminated product should not be available for consumers to purchase.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the illnesses have been reported across multiple counties in the state, although no counties were named. Patients can be treated with antibiotics.
"We are in the process of removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers - which includes approximately 3,000 of our USA restaurants primarily located in the Midwest", the fast food chain said in a statement.