CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in Chicago reported on Thursday that lettuce used in McDonald’s blend salads since mid-May may have been contaminated with an intestinal illness which causes dozens of consumers to have diarrhea and nausea.
“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 spokesperson Terri Hickey said in a statement.
“We are in the process of removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our US restaurants primarily located in the Midwest,” the company added.
Illinois public health authorities confirmed in a statement that McDonald’s has effectively removed such products and is using other suppliers.
Illinois public health director Dr. Nirav D. Shah reported that in several counties of the state, including Cook where Chicago is located, about 90 cases of cyclosporiasis – a disease caused by the microscopic Cyclospora parasite that brings diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue and nausea – have been reported since mid-May.
“Although a link has been made to salads sold in McDonald’s restaurants in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” Dr. Shah added.
In addition, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported that 15 people have contracted this disease after consuming the salad between the end of June and the beginning of July.