Metro-East News

Parasite outbreak tied to McDonald’s salads tops 200 cases in Illinois

This is an exterior shot of a McDonald's in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
This is an exterior shot of a McDonald's in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. AP

The outbreak of intestinal parasites tied to McDonald’s salads has now reached more than 200 cases in Illinois alone.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports 243 cases of cyclosporiasis, of whom 92 have reported eating salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants. One outbreak was linked to a private event at a Skokie golf club as well.

“Our investigation includes interviewing people who have become ill to learn what they ate, where they ate it, when and if there are any commonalities,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah said. “Additionally, we’re tracing any implicated foods to identify the manufacturer, producer, supplier, distributor and all other points of contact to identify a source.”

Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, cramping and gas, nausea, fatigue and a low-grade fever, and may begin up to two weeks after exposure. It can be treated with antibiotics, and may last up to a month. Infection comes from consuming food or water contaminated with feces.

The original outbreak was reported 10 days ago with more than 90 cases. McDonald’s has since removed the salads from its restaurants and resupplied from new sources.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507; @BNDedonald
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