More people sickened by serious salmonella outbreak linked to melons

Comment on this storyCommentAdd to your saved storiesSave

The public is warned not to consume pre-cut melons, even in fruit cups, if it is not clear whether Malichita or Rudy brand melons were used, U.S. health officials said Thursday, after more than a hundred salmonella cases emerged across the country.

“Interviews with sick people and laboratory findings continue to show that melons are making people sick in this outbreak,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an alert Thursday. “CDC is concerned about this outbreak because illnesses are severe, with more than half hospitalized, and people in long-term care facilities and day care centers have become ill.”

According to the CDC, there have been 117 human cases of salmonella in 34 states. Two people have died and at least 61 people have been hospitalized. According to CTV News, Canada has reported 63 illnesses, 17 hospitalizations and one death linked to the fruit.

Earlier this month, Malichita and Rudy brand whole melons were recalled. According to the CDC, the line has since expanded to include pre-cut cantaloupe products from Kwik Trip, Bix Produce, Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market and Trader Joe’s.

People with weakened immune systems, the elderly and young children are more likely to get salmonella, the CDC says. Fourteen people who fell ill in this current outbreak lived in long-term care facilities, and seven were children who attended day care centers before becoming ill, the CDC added.

The CDC recommends checking with the store to ensure whole melons without stickers are not Malichita or Rudy brands, and washing and disinfecting surfaces that may have come into contact with the melon.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain within six hours to six days of eating contaminated food. Illnesses can last four to seven days.

Vulnerable people, including children under 5 years of age, adults 65 years of age and older, and those with weakened immune systems, may experience serious illness that requires medical attention.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, on November 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the first recall of cantaloupes in this outbreak.

“If you cannot tell whether your melon, including pre-cut melon or products containing pre-cut melon, is part of the recall, do not eat, use or throw it away,” the FDA said in a statement.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has expanded its recall notice to include some pre-cut pineapples, honeydew melons and watermelons that were processed along with Malichita melons.