Finally, McNuggets are the healthy option.
A food and waterborne parasite known as cyclospora cayetanensis has turned up in McDonald’s salads across nine states, sickening 163 people and hospitalizing three. No deaths have been reported.
Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigators traced the illnesses to salads sold at the fast food chain’s outposts in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
McDonald’s ceased selling salads in eateries in those states and in five others that had been getting lettuce blends from the same distributor, “out of an abundance of caution” earlier this month, the chain said. The move affects a total of about 3,000 restaurants.
In addition to the nine states, McDonald’s in Indiana, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia also received lettuce from a Fresh Express production facility in Streamwood, Illinois, which McDonald’s told USA Today is implicated in the outbreak. (Fresh Express disputed that statement, noting federal authorities have yet to name a source.)
“The health and safety of our customers and the people who work in McDonald’s restaurants is always our top priority,” the company said in a statement last week. “McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality and we continue to cooperate and support regulatory and public health officials in their investigations.”
Cyclospora contaminates food and water via fecal matter, causing an illness known as cyclosporiasis in those infected. According to the FDA, symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue.
It usually takes about a week after the infection for symptoms to appear.
Left untreated, those symptoms can stretch from a few days to more than a month, with possible relapses in the future. The FDA recommends anyone who experiences diarrhea lasting more than three days consult a doctor.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.