The company behind the McDonald’s parasite outbreak that sickened 395 people has issued another recall, and still can’t explain what happened

Fresh Express salads on sale.

Fresh Express salads on sale.
Getty Images

  • Fresh Express has issued another product recall, after its salads were found to be the source of an outbreak of the cyclospora parasite.
  • The infection has already seen them dumped by thousands of McDonald’s stores, where tainted salads have infected at least 395 people.
  • The latest recall did not specify what product was affected, other than saying that they were “for institutional use” and had no branding.
  • Fresh Express said last week it was still trying to work out how the outbreak started.
  • The latest update, issued Tuesday August 6, says they are still no closer to knowing.

The supplier behind the parasitic illness outbreak at McDonald’s has issued another product recall, and has admitted that it still can’t explain where the problem came from.

Fresh Express – a salad supplier which works with McDonald’s, supermarkets, and other food businesses – issued a vaguely-worded recall announcement on its website on Monday.

It is the latest effort to limit the damage done after its products sickened at least 395 customers at McDonald’s restaurants around the US, and prompted recalls at the supermarkets Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, and Kroger.

It said that “a limited number” of products had been recalled, but did not specify what they are. It said the items were “for institutional use,” were dispatched in plain packaging without logos, and weren’t meant for retail purchase.

A McDonald's salad.

A McDonald’s salad.

The statement also showed that the company has made no progress in its efforts to work out where the original infection came from.

It said that “as of now, there is no clear understanding about the contamination pathway or a definitive source of the Cyclospora outbreaks.”

The language is identical to a statement on Thursday last week, where Fresh Express admitted it could not be sure what was going on.

McDonald’s had to remove salads from 3,000 chains across the United States in July, and in a recent call with investors McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said those restaurants now had a new salad supplier.

The illness caused by the parasite, has symptoms such as diarrhea and frequent bowel movements, weight loss, stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.