FDA and CDC, along with state and local officials, are continuing to investigate the multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis illnesses likely linked to salads from McDonald's restaurants. As of August 2, 2018, a total of 395 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection were reported in people who consumed salads from McDonald’s; the cases were reported by 15 states. (The Connecticut, Tennessee, and Virginia case-patients purchased salads while traveling in Illinois; the Florida case-patient purchased a salad while traveling in Kentucky.)
Following are the facts from FDA:
- On July 26, 2018, the FDA completed final analysis of an unused package of Fresh Express salad mix containing romaine lettuce and carrots, which had been distributed to McDonald's. The analysis confirmed the presence of Cyclospora in that sample, though the expiration date for that product, July 19, had already passed. On July 27, the FDA informed Fresh Express of the results.
- FDA instructed Fresh Express to determine whether potentially contaminated product may still be on the market. Fresh Express reported to FDA that the romaine from the same lot as the positive sample was not packaged for direct retail sale by Fresh Express and had already expired. Fresh Express committed to using recall procedures to inform those companies that received this romaine about the sample result. Fresh Express also reported that carrots used in the mix were only sent to McDonald's locations.
- On July 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert on beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products potentially contaminated with Cyclospora that were distributed by Caito Foods LLC, of Indianapolis, IN. The products were produced between July 15 and 18, 2018, with either “Best By,” “Enjoy by,” “Best if Sold By” or “Sell By” dates ranging from July 18 through July 23, 2018. Caito Foods had received notification from Fresh Express that the chopped romaine in these products was being recalled.
- The CDC reports that 395 people in 15 states have become ill. There have been 16 hospitalizations and no deaths.
- The investigation is ongoing and the FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information for romaine and carrots.
- As of July 13, 2018, McDonald's decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants in West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana. The company has since reported that it has replaced the supplier of salads in those states. More information can be found in McDonald's Statement.
- Consumers who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse).
- At this time, CDC has no evidence to suggest that this cluster of illnesses is related to the ongoing Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays.