The CDC has issued a food safety alert regarding an ongoing Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit products. Since the last update on November 17, 2023, the number of reported cases has doubled, with an additional 56 people infected. The total case count now stands at 99 individuals across 32 states.
Out of these cases, 45 people have been hospitalized, including two fatalities reported in Minnesota. The outbreak strain of Salmonella has been consistently linked to cantaloupes through interviews with affected individuals and laboratory findings.
As a response to the escalating situation, more brands of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes and fruit have been added to the recall list. The recalled products include Rudy brand whole cantaloupes, Freshness Guaranteed brand, and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes. Investigators are actively working to identify any additional cantaloupe products that may be contaminated.
It’s crucial for consumers to take immediate action. The CDC advises not to consume any recalled cantaloupes or other fruit products associated with the outbreak. Consumers are urged to either throw away these products or return them to the place of purchase. Additionally, items and surfaces that may have come into contact with the recalled fruit should be thoroughly washed with hot soapy water or a dishwasher.
For those experiencing severe symptoms associated with Salmonella, such as diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F, diarrhea lasting more than three days without improvement, bloody diarrhea, or excessive vomiting leading to an inability to keep liquids down, it is recommended to seek medical attention promptly.
Businesses are also advised not to sell or serve any recalled cantaloupes or fruit products. Furthermore, they should ensure the proper washing and sanitization of items and surfaces that may have been in contact with the recalled fruit.
Canada is also investigating this outbreak and has linked cases with the same Salmonella strain to cantaloupes. The CDC emphasizes the importance of staying informed about the outbreak and following the recommended precautions to prevent further spread.
Salmonella symptoms typically include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, with onset occurring 6 hours to 6 days after exposure. While most individuals recover without treatment within 4 to 7 days, vulnerable populations such as children under 5, adults over 65, and those with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illnesses requiring medical intervention or hospitalization. For additional information about Salmonella, the CDC encourages individuals to refer to the Salmonella Questions and Answers page.