It's been nearly a month since McDonald's stopped selling salads in Minnesota and most of the Midwest due to people being sickened by bad lettuce. Now the Centers for Disease Control says the number of people fallen ill is more than 430.
In an update to the Cyclospora outbreak – a bacteria that causes stomach problems – the CDC says 436 people in the Midwest and Ohio Valley have gotten stick from bad lettuce in pre-packaged salads and wraps from McDonald's.
Of the 436 cases, nine have been confirmed in Minnesota. Ten cases came out of Wisconsin, 14 in South Dakota, 95 in Iowa and 219 in Illinois. Twenty of the cases required hospitalization.
"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 July 13. "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."
It's not clear which McDonald's restaurants sold the bad lettuce, which was produced by Fresh Express in Streamwood, Illinois.
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)
- Low-grade fever
Anyone with the symptoms is urged to contact their local health provider.