At least 60 people eight states have been sickened by Salmonella linked to melon products made and distributed by Caito Foods of Indianapolis, Indiana, spurring a recall of fresh cut melon and fruit salads, federal health officials announced.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the outbreak of Salmonella illnesses stems from fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fruit medley mixtures containing any of these melon products.
Caito Foods and others distributed the affected melon products to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.
People infected by the melon products, which are contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Adelaide bacteria, have been reported in five states — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Michigan had the highest number of people sickened in the outbreak with up to 32 reported illnesses. Thirty-one of those sickened have been hospitalized, the CDC said.
Illnesses started in a nearly monthlong period between April 30, 2018, and May 28, 2018. According to the CDC, 66 percent of the known illnesses have resulted in hospitalization. The number of illnesses could still rise, as anyone infected after May 20 may not have developed symptoms.
Symptoms of salmonella exposure include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, fever, and headache. Most people will partially recover without treatment after a couple of days, but symptoms may linger in a milder form for a week or even months.
Severe, life-threatening infections generally occur in children 5 years old and younger. Other people at high risk of developing severe complications are the elderly and anyone with a condition that weakens the immune system. Death may occur from dehydration and electrolyte imbalance – a result of prolonged diarrhea and vomiting – and from septicemia, which occurs when the bacteria escape the intestine, enter the bloodstream, and infect the organs.
People sickened in this outbreak range in age from 1 year to 97 with a median age of 67. No deaths have been reported as of June 8.
The recalled melon products were sold in clear plastic clamshell containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon.
The CDC advises people not to eat any of the recalled products and to check your fridge and freezer for them and throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund. If you don’t remember where you bought pre-cut melon, don’t eat it and throw it away.