The Center for Disease Control is reporting that 436 people, including many in Minnesota, became ill from a parasite linked to McDonald’s salads with cases reported in 15 states. The CDC says Cyclospora infection was reported in people who ate salads from McDonald’s restaurants.

Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh.

Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh explained that the main symptoms are diarrhea, especially watery diarrhea and fatigue. Some, however, may have no symptoms.

“If somebody is otherwise healthy, they’ll get the infection and clear it out; however, people who are immunocompromised and have poor immune systems for whatever reason can have more severe disease and also more prolonged disease,” said Dr. Tosh.

Tosh says fresh produce is often associated with Cyclospora outbreaks and, “Food safety is a public safety issue.”It’s really important that we support the regulatory agencies that keep us safe: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the CDC, local and state public health organizations. These are the folks that very tirelessly work to keep us safe.”

People who became ill from the parasite were between the ages of 14 and 91. There are no reports of deaths, but at least 20 have been hospitalized.