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Salmonella outbreak linked to cut melon

The outbreak has made 60 people sick, including 11 in Indiana.

Posted: Jun 9, 2018 5:05 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WFFT)- The Indiana State Department of Health is working with the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on an investigation into a multi-state outbreak of salmonella that has been linked to cut melons. The outbreak has made 60 people sick, including 11 in Indiana. 

The CDC has indicated that pre-cut melon supplied by Caito Foods of Indianapolis is a likely source of the outbreak. Caito Foods on Friday recalled fresh-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fresh-cut mixed fruit containing one of these melons that were produced at its Indianapolis facility. 

Products were packaged in clear clamshell containers and distributed to Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Walgreens, Whole Foods and other stores in Indiana, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. 

Consumers who purchased pre-cut melon from these stores should not eat the products and should throw them away or return them  for a refund. The CDC advises people who are unsure where they purchased a pre-cut melon to throw it away. While the current guidance applies only to pre-cut melons and not whole melons, you should always wash whole melons before cutting them to reduce the risk of getting sick. 

Salmonella is a bacterial infection that can be contracted through exposure to undercooked animal-based foods, such as poultry and eggs, and contact with feces from an infected animal or person. Symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal cramps and typically appear between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

In some cases, however, diarrhea may be severe enough that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these cases, the salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and to other body sites, leading to a life-threatening infection. Young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to severe illness.

Individuals who have consumed pre-cut melon and are experiencing symptoms of Salmonella infection should contact their doctor. 

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