A parasitic illness that hit McDonald's and sickened 160 people has spread to Trader Joe's, Kroger, and Walgreens

  • Walgreens, Trader Joe's and Kroger are the latest stores to be hit by the cyclospora parasite.

  • Products containing romaine lettuce are affected, according to a government warning.

  • Consumers have been urged to throw away any products produced on certain dates, which are listed below.

  • The parasite sickened 163 McDonald's customers in 10 states last month.

  • Cyclospora – which is spread to food through contact with human faeces – was found in lettuces from salad supplier Fresh Express.

  • The bug lives for up to 14 days and causes painful vomiting, extreme diarrhea, and weight loss.

The parasitic illness that plagued McDonald's customers last month has spread to Trader Joe's, Walgreens, and Kroger, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned on Monday.

The government body said that traces of the bug had been found in an array of products at the stores containing tainted romaine lettuce from a single supplier, Fresh Express.

Citing research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA said that foods including pre-packaged wraps and salads. They were sold with "sell by" dates around July 23.

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Example products include a Walgreens chicken caesar salad, a tarragon chicken wrap from Trader Joe's, or a cobb salad from Kroger (the full list is here).

Cyclospora causes diarrhea, vomiting and infection last for as long as two weeks. It is not fatal.

The bug is a small parasite which lives in humans. When the bug contacts food and is eaten it can result in an uncomfortable intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis.

This is treated with easy antibiotics, called co-trimoxazole. The parasite can last for days after being passed in a bowel movement, and it's still infectious to other people, but it is unlikely that cyclosporiasis is passed directly from one person to another directly.

The outbreak is the second in recent weeks. A previous warning from the FDA said that 163 infections had been traced to McDonald's restaurants in Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

McDonald's said they have removed existing salads from restaurants and distribution centers including about 3,000 of their U.S. restaurants located in the Midwest.

The full list of affected products can be found here.

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