Pregnant? Skip McDonald's Salads to Avoid Food Poisoning

Over 200 people across 15 states have become sick so far.
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ByLaurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
Jul 2018
mcdonald's pre-packaged kale salad. mcdonald's salads causing food poisoning.
Photo: Richard Lautens / Getty Images

There’s a time and a place for fast food, and moms looking for a healthy choice while the kids dig into the burgers and fries have traditionally chosen McDonald’s salads. But right now, that’s not a very good idea.

So far, 286 people across 15 states have contracted an intestinal illness from eating those Mickey D salads, according to the CDC, and 11 of those have been hospitalized. Although they haven’t been able to isolate which contaminated ingredient is causing the outbreak, labs have confirmed the cyclospora parasite is the problem.

A cyclospora infection can be pretty debilitating. Symptoms kick in after about a week and include diarrhea that can be explosive, as well as loss of appetite, weight loss, cramps and stomach pain, nausea, gas, fatigue, vomiting, headache, fever, body aches or flu-like symptoms. You might be sick for just a few days, but it also could last months, and might return even after what feels like a complete recovery.

McDonald’s is working with the FDA to solve the problem, and posted this statement on their website:

“Out of an abundance of caution, a week ago we voluntarily stopped selling salads at impacted restaurants and have switched to another lettuce blend supplier. We have removed existing lettuce blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers, which includes approximately 3,000 of our US restaurants primarily located in the Midwest.”

The states affected are Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

So for now, pregnant moms—and everyone else—should skip the salad. What better excuse to indulge in a burger?

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