Pre-cut melons recalled after Salmonella outbreak sickens 60

June 13, 2018

While out enjoying the sunshine this season, many in the U.S. are picnicking with popular summer fruits like watermelons and cantaloupes.

However, a voluntary recall of several pre-cut melon products has now been issued after at least 60 people in multiple states were infected with the foodborne pathogen Salmonella Adelaide.

The products implicated, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), include pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melons and cantaloupes, as well as pre-made fruit salads containing these melons. The FDA said the products were sold in clear plastic clamshell containers that were distributed to many grocery store chains.

The states that received potentially contaminated products are Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. In each state, local authorities are working with the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to narrow down a starting point for the outbreak. Although a distributor has been identified and has voluntarily recalled potentially contaminated products, the investigation continues to identify when contamination occurred, possibly before reaching the distributor.

Who is affected?

The CDC reported that at least 60 people in five states had gotten sick, with at least 31 of those people requiring hospitalization. People affected range from less than one year old to 97 years old. The illnesses happened over about a month, from April 30 to May 28 of this year.

Most people with salmonellosis, the name of a Salmonella infection, experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. Usually, symptoms go away after four to seven days without treatment, but in serious cases, hospitalization is required. Children are more likely to get salmonellosis, but people with weaker immune systems, like young children, elderly individuals and people with other immunocompromising illnesses, are more likely to have more serious symptoms.

Consumers should throw away or return any food products in their fridge that might be included in the recall. And as a general tip, it’s good to wash your hands, utensils and all food prep surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.

Category: Food Safety