Kentuckians were among those affected by a parasite found inside McDonald’s salads that have since been recalled, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
As of Thursday, 395 laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora were reported in people who consumed Fresh Express salad mix from McDonald’s, the FDA said. Six of those are in Kentucky; Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska are the states most affected.
Aside from Kentucky, 14 other states are linked to the infection, which can lead to diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements, the FDA said. Symptoms may also include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps and pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, body aches, headache and fever.
It’s the same contamination that earlier this week led to a recall of salads and wraps sold by Trader Joe’s, Walgreens and Kroger.
On July 13, McDonald’s announced it voluntarily stopped selling salads at the impacted restaurants, including Kentucky. The company later said it replaced the supplier of salads in those states.
An investigation by the FDA July 26 found Cyclospora in a sample of the Fresh Express salad mix, which prompted its recall.
Symptoms often take several weeks to show. The parasite needs days to weeks after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious to another person, so it is unlikely to be passed directly from one person to another, the FDA said.