The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the ongoing salmonella outbreak that’s linked with cantaloupe products is spreading, with 302 cases across 42 states as of Friday.
So far, there have been three confirmed fatalities from the infections in Minnesota and one in Oregon. In Canada, the outbreak has resulted in 153 confirmed cases across eight provinces, with six fatalities.
The majority of illnesses have affected young children and adults over 65, according to both the CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
However, the actual number of affected individuals is likely higher, as many people recover without seeking medical attention and may not undergo salmonella testing.
The recall list includes Malichita and Rudy brand whole cantaloupes, along with cut fruit products sold at retailers like Kwik Trip, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Aldi, and RaceTrac.
The CDC advises against consuming pre-cut cantaloupes if the origin is unknown, including cantaloupe chunks and fruit mixes containing cantaloupes at restaurants and grocery stores.
Those with recalled fruit products at home are urged to discard them or return them to the point of purchase. Additionally, it is recommended to thoroughly wash items or surfaces that have come into contact with the fruit using hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to eliminate the bacteria.
Businesses are also cautioned not to sell the contaminated fruit and are advised to wash and sanitize items that may have been in contact with it.
Salmonella infection symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever, typically manifesting six hours to six days after ingestion. Seeking prompt medical attention is crucial if symptoms include a fever higher than 102, persistent diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, unrelenting vomiting, or signs of dehydration.
While anyone can contract salmonella, certain groups, such as the elderly, pregnant women, children, and those with underlying health conditions that weaken the immune system, are more susceptible to severe symptoms.
The CDC, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Public Health Agency of Canada are actively investigating the outbreak to identify any additional products that may be contaminated.