Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Precut Melons Sickens 117 People in 10 States

April 26, 2019 Updated: April 26, 2019

A salmonella outbreak linked to precut melon has affected 117 people in 10 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Apr 24.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration say the likely source of the outbreak is Caito Foods LLC in Illinois, but the investigation is ongoing.

On April 12, Caito voluntarily recalled several types of pre-cut melon sold at Kroger, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and under the Whole Foods label.

The recall includes precut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and pre-cut fruit medley products. The fruit was distributed to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. A full list of the recalled products is available on the FDA website.

“If you cannot determine if any precut melon you purchased was produced by Caito Foods LLC, don’t eat it and throw it away,” the CDC said.

The CDC said illnesses started on March 4 and continued to April 8. Thirty-two people have been hospitalized. The youngest infected consumer was less than a year old, and the oldest was 98. No deaths have been reported.

Salmonella is to blame for 1 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States every year, according to the CDC.

Symptoms usually begin 12 to 72 hours after consuming the bacteria and can last four to seven days. They include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, according to the CDC. Most people recover on their own. Patients who experience severe diarrhea may require hospitalization. If severely ill patients are not treated, the illness can be deadly.

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Salmonella Scare Triggers Egg Recall

A salmonella scare which sparked a widespread national recall of eggs is an “isolated outbreak” according to an industry group which insists the majority of products are still safe to eat.

A day after Australian health authorities issued a warning for some eggs produced by Victoria’s Bridgewater Poultry, Egg Farmers of Australia on March 22 moved to reassure consumers.

Spokesman John Coward said from time-to-time salmonella may be present in eggs given all warm-blooded animals can carry the bacteria in their intestines.

“If varying strains of salmonella are present, in this case we have quite a nasty one, then the chance of it getting through a very small percentage and contaminating some eggs is there and that’s what happened,” he said on ABC radio on Friday.

“We are seeing an isolated outbreak. But there was an outbreak in NSW late last year.”

Some egg brands have been recalled across Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia after positive tests from the Bridgewater farm and numerous cases of salmonella enteritidis.

The AAP contributed to this report.