Currently, McDonald’s salads have infected 476 people with the parasite, cyclospora. The FDA confirms that the outbreak has spread to 15 states with 21 people needing hospitalization. However, the agency expects this number to continue to grow as more ill people come forward.
Cyclospora infection (cyclosporiasis) causes watery, and sometimes explosive, diarrhea after the one-celled parasite enters through contaminated food or water. Fresh produce is the most likely culprit of cyclospora infection. Some people infected with the microscopic parasite that causes cyclospora infection develop no signs or symptoms. When a symptom develops, it happens within two to 11 days of eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Diarrhea may last a few days to weeks. Doctors can have difficulty diagnosing the cause of diarrhea. Therefore, doctors will recommend a stool test.
McDonald’s Salads Outbreak
The McDonald’s salads outbreak focuses on produce received from the company, Fresh Express. Health investigators focused on the two ingredients in the salad mix (lettuce and carrots) and confirmed both contained Cyclospora from a lab sample. The fast-food chain voluntarily stopped selling the lettuce blend at only impacted restaurants. This equaled around 3,000 locations predominately in the Midwest. However, the FDA has not recalled any products. Any contaminated lettuce sold in retail stores have already expired. Also, the carrots, which tested positive for cyclospora are only in McDonald’s salads.
This outbreak affects McDonald’s locations in 11 states including Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. However, a Florida resident did become ill after purchasing a salad while traveling in Kentucky, while patients residing in Tennessee, Connecticut, and Virginia purchased salads while in Illinois. Twenty-one people had to seek hospitalization. The ill range in age from 14 to 91, with two-thirds of them women.
However, this isn’t the first Fresh Express parasite outbreak. In July, Trader Joe’s, Kroger and Walgreens also had issues with Fresh Express salads and had to pull over 20 products off the shelf. No illnesses have been reported, yet.
Food poisoning lawsuits play an important role in keeping food systems safe. These lawsuits hold negligent corporations accountable. Plus, it shows lawmakers that food safety is imperative. When people are injured from outbreaks caused by bacteria or viruses, most of the time it is from a manufacturer being negligent. The company is fully aware of their potentially dangerous practices and do not correct it. Thus, customers’ lives are endangered. We have over 20 years representing injured clients. Let our team fight for the justice you deserve.