Pre-cut Melon Causes Nine-State Salmonella Outbreak

eating watermelon on Memorial Day
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating the multi-state outbreak of contaminated melon.

A uniquely dangerous strain of “Salmonella Adelaide” has been found in pre-cut melons sold at Costco, Jay C Food Stores, Kroger, Owen’s Market, Pay Less Super Markets, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon. Already, 31 of the 47 monitored cases — out of 60 in total — have required hospitalization.

The food was shipped from a Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis and has made its way to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. Caito Foods has issued a recall of the tainted fruit shipped between April 17 and June 7, all with a “best used by” date of June 16.

Lawsuits in three states have already been filed. Texas food safety attorney Jory Lange Jr. said, “Until there’s a recall, no one knows what to stop eating. There’s no way to tell if pre-cut fruit is contaminated. That’s why we rely on distributors to issue safe food.” He also expects the number of cases to rise significantly in the coming weeks. “Past instances have shown for each reported case, there are 29 other cases that are unreported,” he said.

According to the CDC:

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Anyone who has consumed pre-cut melon in the affected regions should seek medical attention should they develop symptoms.

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