Cyclospora linked to contaminated McDonald’s salads produced illness to consumers in the U.S.

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Illinois is reporting 90 cases since mid-May. Iowa is reporting 15 cases since late June. Salads at McDonald’s restaurants in at least 14 states may have been contaminated, the CDC and FDA said. The fast-food chain has stopped selling the salads but they may have been sold in 3,000 outlets. “We understand how important it is to quickly identify the cause of this foodborne outbreak to help reduce additional illness and we’re working closely with our colleagues at CDC and state partners to get more answers,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

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Cyclospora, which rarely kills is a fairly unusual parasite and it’s not easily removed by washing produce. Doctors may not be on the lookout for it as a cause of food poisoning, the FDA said. “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,” the FDA said. “Past cyclosporiasis outbreaks in the U.S. have been linked to raspberries, basil, cilantro, snow peas and mesclun lettuce,” the FDA revealed. The CDC estimates that each year 48 million people get sick contaminated food, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. Bacteria, viruses and parasites can all cause foodborne illnesses.

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