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McDonald's stops selling salads in Minnesota as precaution to reported illnesses

Bad lettuce has made people sick in other states.

McDonald's has stopped selling salads in Minnesota and most of the Midwest after reports of people being sickened with Cyclospora infections. 

Cyclospora is a stomach illness caused by bacteria in food and water, and it has been traced to lettuce at McDonald's restaurants in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri. 

"Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier," McDonald's said in a news release. "We are in the process of removing existing lettuce blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants primarily located in the Midwest."

They did not say how many McDonald's were impacted, only saying that at least one was affected in the aforementioned states. 

"McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control. We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate," the release said. 

According to the AP, Illinois and Iowa have been hit hardest, with about 100 cases of Cyclospora linked to their salads. It's unclear if there have been any such cases in Minnesota. 

Cyclosporo has made headlines in Minnesota and Wisconsin the past couple of months after outbreaks of the infection linked to Del Monte vegetable trays sold at Kwik Trip convenience stores. 

It can take up to a week before symptoms of Cyclospora arrive, but once they do, infected people can experience:

  • Frequent watery diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Cramping, bloating, and/or increased gas
  • Nausea (vomiting is less common)
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever

Anyone with the symptoms is urged to contact their local health provider. 

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