CDC: Pre-cut melon cause of multistate salmonella outbreak

WASHINGTON — Packages of pre-cut fresh fruit have been linked to a salmonella outbreak that sickened dozens of people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

There have been 60 people reported infected and 31 people hospitalized with salmonella infection in five Midwestern states, said the CDC.

On Friday, Caito Foods recalled fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fresh-cut fruit medley products containing these melons produced at their facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Illnesses from the fruit were reported in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. In addition to those states, the CDC said that recalled melons were also sold in Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina

The fruit was sold in clear, plastic containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon.

The company is looking into whether products were sent to any additional stores or states.

The illnesses started on dates ranging from April 30 to May 28. Those who reported getting sick range in age from less than 1 year to 97 years old with a median age of 67.

No deaths have been reported.

The CDC urges consumers not to eat recalled products, to check the fridge and freezer for the recalled melons and to throw them away or return them to the store for a refund.

If the UPC code is still on the product, consumers can check the number on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website.

If it is unknown which store melons were purchased from, health officials say not to eat the fruit and throw it away.

Symptoms from a salmonella infection usually appear between 12 and 72 hours after consuming contaminated food, according to the CDC. These symptoms include a fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment, according to the CDC. In some people, however, the CDC said that diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to hospitalized as the salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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