CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and state and local public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections associated with consumption of McDonald’s salads.
Consumers should not eat and retailers should not serve or sell McDonald’s salads.
Unlike other foodborne pathogens, Cyclospora is not transmitted directly from one person to another (e.g., by ill food handlers).
CDC laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain as Cyclospora cayetanensis, a single-celled parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.
People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. Symptoms begin an average of 7 days (range: 2 days to ≥2 weeks) after ingestion of the parasite.
Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, but other symptoms can occur, including weight loss, loss of appetite, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. In some people, diarrhea may be so severe hospitalized is required. If untreated, symptoms can persist for several weeks or a month or more.
As of July 13, 2018, (4pm EDT), CDC has been notified of 61 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in persons who reportedly consumed McDonald’s salads.
Reported cases come from 7 states―Illinois (29), Iowa (16), Minnesota (3), Missouri (7) Nebraska (2), South Dakota (2), and Wisconsin (2). The Wisconsin case-patient dined at a McDonald’s in Illinois.
The first illness was reported May 20, 2018 and the most recent illness was reported July 10, 2018, with a median illness onset date of June 28, 2018.CDC has not yet received information for approximately 60% of reported cases. Two people are known to have been hospitalized
Anyone can be infected with Cyclospora. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of a Cyclospora infection and report your illness to your local health department.
This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.
If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.