A Case of Fast Food Festivities


Brendan Guillen, Reporter

On August 23, 2018, an outbreak of cyclosporiasis –a gastrointestinal illness — was known to have affected 507 people. The illness itself began to spread between May 20th and July 21st, originating from McDonald’s salads. Sixteen states have reported the illness and according to the CDC, patients from New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and Connecticut contracted the parasite from one of the fast food chain’s locations in Illinois. However, a Florida resident also contracted the illness from a salad purchased in a Kentucky McDonald’s.

The parasite itself is contracted from consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms take effect within a week of contraction, and symptoms range from diarrhea to frequent and “occasionally explosive bowel movement” as stated by the CDC. The afflicted may also experience weight loss due to lack of appetite, stomach cramps, nausea, gas, and fatigue. These may last for weeks or months,  even while being treated with antibiotics.

The parasite has been traced to a salad mix supplied by a company the fast food chain no longer is partnered with.