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More Than 500 McDonald's Customers Fall Ill As Salad Found To Contain Parasite

More Than 500 McDonald's Customers Fall Ill As Salad Found To Contain Parasite

An investigation has been launched in the United States after a large number of McDonald's customers became ill, with food from the chain found to be contaminated.

Over 500 customers who visited the fast-food giant found themselves ill after eating Maccies' salad which were found to contain a parasite normally found in human faeces, the Mirror reports.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was forced into action following reports in 16 states in the US, with 507 people suffering from sickness and diarrhea.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The Fresh Express romaine lettuce and carrot mix used by McDonald's was found to be the cause, as the FDA confirmed traces of cyclospora were found.

This can cause intestinal illness - severe diarrhoea is one of the most common symptoms, although it can take up to a week before symptoms kick into full effect.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) became aware of the issue on 20 May, with McDonald's removing salad from up to 3,000 restaurants on 13 July.

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Customers in the following states have been affected by the parasite:

  • New York
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Tennessee
  • South Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan

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Those who suffered from the parasite could experience vomiting, stomach cramps and weight loss.

"Epidemiologic evidence indicates that salads purchased from McDonald's restaurants are one likely source of these infections," said the CDC.

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"The investigation is ongoing, and FDA is working to determine the sources of the ingredients that were in common to the salads served at McDonald's."

Cyclospora cayetanensis. Credit: Public Health Image Library
Cyclospora cayetanensis. Credit: Public Health Image Library

McDonald's added: "The health and safety of our customers and the people who work in McDonald's restaurants is always our top priority.

"The additional states identified by the FDA and CDC are among the same states where a week ago we proactively decided to remove our lettuce blend in impacted restaurants and replace it through a different supplier.

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"McDonald's is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality and we continue to cooperate and support regulatory and public health officials in their investigations."

Words by Adnan Riaz

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, US News, McDonald's

Ronan O'Shea

Ronan J O'Shea is a freelance journalist from London who has written for titles including LADbible, Headspace, The Independent, National Geographic Traveller and New York Post. Contact him at [email protected]