FDA: 476 sickened by parasite linked to McDonald's salads

Federal and state health officials continue to investigate an outbreak of an intestinal illness apparently linked to salads from McDonald's. As of August 16, 476 people in 15 states who ate McDonald's salads have lab-confirmed infections of the parasite cyclospora, the FDA reported.

"The investigation is ongoing and FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information for romaine and carrots," officials said.

In early July, McDonald's stopped selling salads at 3,000 restaurants "out of an abundance of caution" after dozens of customers became sick. The fast-food chain said it would switch suppliers.

"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," the company said in a statement on July 20.

Some people infected with the parasite have no symptoms but unfortunately, most experience watery diarrhea with "frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements," according to the CDC. Loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, body aches, headache, and fever are other symptoms.

"Consumers who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care," the FDA recommended.