CDC warning: Salmonella outbreak from pre-cut melons; expanded to Iowa
UPDATED June 13th:
Health officials say Iowa has been added to the list of states included in a salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut melon that has sickened 60 people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says consumers should not eat and retailers should not sell recalled melon products distributed by a Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis.
Recalled 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. Illnesses have been discovered in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.
Some of the products, which include pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fruit medleys, also were sent to Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina.
The CDC says 31 of the people sickened have been hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting 6 cases of Salmonella that match a multi-state outbreak strain.
The CDC is reporting so far 60 cases in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.
The investigation indicates pre-cut melons, including fruit salads, are a likely source of the outbreak.
“The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging people not to eat pre-cut melon purchased from any Walmart store in Illinois, or any of the other affected states, at this time,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “If you have recently purchased pre-cut melon from Walmart, throw it out. If you have recently eaten pre-cut melon from a Walmart store and experience diarrhea, fever, and cramps, contact your health care provider.”
Illinois cases range in age from 23 to 87 years and have been reported in all regions of the state.
Therefore, it is recommended that people not eat pre-cut melon from Walmart stores anywhere in Illinois. As the investigation continues, additional grocery stores may be added.
Most people affected by Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after eating food contaminated by the bacteria.
The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, diarrhea for some people may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. The CDC has indicated there have been more hospitalizations with this outbreak than what is typically seen. The elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to identify the source of Salmonella and there may be recalls as more information is learned. Walmart stores in Illinois have removed pre-cut melons linked to this outbreak from their shelves.