Salmonella Cases From Cantaloupe Rising

Cantaloupes | Image by Zigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock

Salmonella infections related to cantaloupe consumption are increasing across the United States, according to the FDA and the CDC, prompting additional recalls of cantaloupes.

The FDA announced in early November that Sofia Produce, LLC, operating under the name “Trufresh,” had recalled its Malichita brand cantaloupes due to salmonella contamination, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

On November 30, the FDA issued an update to include additional products to the recall list, including fresh-cut cantaloupes from Vinyard Fruit and Vegetable Company, CF Dallas, LLC,  Kwik Trip, Bix Produce, and GHGA, LLC.

The affected products have been sold in convenience stores, including Kwik Trip and RaceTrac, and grocery stores, like Walmart, Kroger, Sprout’s Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi.

Additionally, a second strain of salmonella has been discovered in some of the products.

“Since the last update on November 24, CDC has added a second strain of Salmonella (Oranienburg) to this outbreak investigation after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found this strain in a sample of Malichita brand cantaloupes,” said the FDA in its most recent announcement. “Two people in the United States are infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg.”

The CDC reports that 117 cases of salmonella infection have been reported, with 61 hospitalizations logged so far. The organization said the outbreak is concerning, as some infections had produced “severe” symptoms, especially among children and the elderly.

Among the recent cases are 14 persons residing in long-term care facilities and seven children attending childcare centers.

The cantaloupe-related salmonella cases have been documented across 34 states, including Colorado, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Texas. Minnesota has reported the most cases (14). Texas has reported five.

“This outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses, and the true number of sick people is likely much higher than the number reported,” the CDC said on its website. “This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.”

Consumers are advised to avoid eating recalled products and to sterilize any surfaces suspect products may have come in contact with. Those who suspect they are infected are advised to contact their healthcare providers.

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