Health authorities in Illinois and Iowa have reported 105 recent cases of cyclosporiasis and have linked some of them to McDonald’s salads.
The fast-food chain is cooperating with state and federal health agencies as they investigate the outbreak.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “We are in the process of removing existing salad blends from identified restaurants and distribution centers, which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants, primarily located in the Midwest.”
McDonald’s declined to answer further questions about the salads.
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that it identified 15 people this week who ate McDonald’s salads in late June or early July before falling ill. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 90 cases of cyclosporiasis and noted that about 25% of those illnesses have been connected to McDonald’s salads.
“Although a link has been made to salads sold in McDonald’s restaurants in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” Illinois Department of Public Health director Nirav Shah said in a news release.
Health authorities in Iowa and Illinois encouraged people to seek treatment from a doctor and get tested for cyclosporiasis if they ate a McDonald’s salad and experienced symptoms including diarrhea and fatigue.
In June, federal agencies investigated cyclosporiasis cases that were linked to Del Monte vegetable trays. More than 225 illnesses have been reported in that outbreak.
At this time, no link has been made by health authorities between the outbreak linked to McDonald’s salads and the outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays, which included broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dip.