People in 15 States Infected in McDonald's Salad Outbreak

McDonald's lettuce infection tracker

The infection takes at least a week or two to take hold, according to the CDC, and it may be up to six weeks before patients experience symptoms. The illnesses have been linked to salad mix contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite, which is spread through fecal matter. So far, 16 of these cases have been severe to the point of hospitalization.

McDonald's released a statement on July 13 saying they had been in contact with public health officials notifying them about an increase in Cyclospora infections in Iowa and IL. Symptoms can begin a week or more after consuming the parasite.

According to the CDC, symptoms of a cyclospora infection include diarrhea, with frequent - sometimes explosive - bowel movements, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, and nausea. Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News AppAccording to the Food and Drug Administration, an unused package of Fresh Express salad mix tested positive for Cyclospora.

The illness can last a few days to a few months, and patients might feel better but then get worse again. The company supplied McDonald's in the Midwest with bags of mixed lettuce that had been tainted with cyclospora.

However, romaine lettuce from the same batch was also packaged in pre-made salads by Caito Food of Indianapolis, IN.

On July 13, McDonald's announced it voluntarily stopped selling salads at the impacted restaurants, including Kentucky.

In a statement, Fresh Express said it issued a "precautionary recall" on July 27th.

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