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Ahhh summer, the time of the year for families to get together to enjoy one another, or for you to stop eating those pizza rolls and make yourself a delicious salad. Packed with all the essential food groups, you’d be lying if making a salad didn’t seem as fun as getting one from Wendy’s (trust me, just as good minus the calories), Panera Bread, grocery store, etc., which is sooo not true considering you have more control over what you consume.
In fact, salads from famous fast food chains such as McDonald’s can pose a major health risk if not careful. Last year they found themselves in some serious hot water, along with other restaurants, because of the amount of Cyclospora (a microscopic parasite, found in food or water that has been contaminated with feces) that was found in the salads. This caused a widespread outbreak in 3,000 different McDonald’s across 15 different states, with the main victims being Iowa and Illinois according to The New York Times. To make matters worse, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) had enough research to prove that this was very serious, with 227 laboratory-confirmed cases of illnesses across the victim states simply from the parasites eating the produce found in the salads.
The Cyclospora Parasite Linked to Stomach Illness
Sure, America loves its fresh produce, but health seems to be the least of fast food restaurants worries moving forward in this health-conscious world we live in today. Either way, all the information about pre-made salads are probably false and needs to be looked into more as a consumer, or just be substituted for a healthy, protein filled homemade salad with produce from your local grocery store/farmers market ASAP. Most of the key components of a proper salad aren’t present in most pre-made salads, and that's not included in actual health-based corporations such as Panera Bread, The Veggie Grill, or Chipotle among many others. Other than a Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait or a chicken snack wrap, theres no winning when it comes to us health freaks in a fast food establishment.
So, in conclusion, salads are made to be enjoyed and not feared, but it seems with all the fast food restaurants trying to appeal to another aspect of the human race that regulates their calorie intake, the concept of salads have kind of derailed overtime. This goes to show that maybe something not broken doesn’t need to be upgraded unless you know how to maintain a totally different concept. Another lesson is to BE SMART about not just the health-based food options, but the regular, everyday food you consume daily, as you never know what you could be allergic to or even sensitive to. So if you’re currently sitting on your couch watching The Food Network with a whole pizza and some wine, then swap that out for some good healthy greens and water. Your body will thank you.