At least 99 infections and two deaths have been linked to a salmonella outbreak stemming from recalled cantaloupes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday.
As of Sunday, there have been 45 hospitalizations across 32 states as the CDC actively investigates the spread.
The health agency reported that the recall spans across whole cantaloupes that “might” display stickers saying “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the number “4050,” and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique.”
The recalls also include pre-cut cantaloupes in packages or other fruit mixes from the Freshness Guaranteed, RaceTrac, and Vinyard brands, as well as from the grocery store Aldi.
“Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps,” the CDC said. “Symptoms usually start 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days.”
People with higher health risks, especially children under five, adults 65 or older, and those with compromised immune systems, “may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.”
“The cantaloupes come from Mexico, and the bacteria could be from food handlers or animal or irrigation contamination,” Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Fox News.
The doctor called this a “further wake-up call that produce grown in a place where the U.S. has little to no control can be packaged and sold in many states, endangering many people.”
Dr. Siegel said salmonella produces several toxins.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging consumers, businesses, and restaurants to check their cantaloupes to see if they have been recalled.
If someone comes across a suspected recalled cantaloupe, they are advised to throw it away and sanitize any surfaces it may have contaminated.