The Food and Drug Administration has traced the source of a cyclospora contamination that sickened 286 people to a salad blend provided to McDonald’s by a lone supplier, Fresh Express of Streamwood, Ill.
The FDA said it validated Fresh Express as the source by testing an unopened package of salad, a romaine and carrot mix. The same strain of cyclospora, a microscopic parasite usually found in untreated water, was present in the lot, according to the agency.
It added that it’d been informed by Fresh Express that recall procedures have been started for romaine lettuce from the same batch that went into that one tainted package. The carrots in the mix are only included in salads sold to McDonald’s.
The quick-service chain pulled salads from 3,000 stores after instances of cyclospora contamination were reported to authorities in Iowa and Illinois. The instances have since spread to 15 states.
McDonald’s told the FDA it has found another vendor to supply the stores in those areas.
The FDA noted that it implemented new methods this year for finding cyclospora in the food supply chain. The parasite causes severe diarrhea and vomiting, along with flu-like symptoms such as fever.
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