(LibertySociety.com) – Top health officials in the United States have sounded the alarm after three people died and 96 others were hospitalized due to Salmonella food poisoning after eating cantaloupe. In Canada, five individuals have died and 196 illnesses across six provinces have been reported after eating the fruit.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 230 cases of Salmonella have been recorded since the outbreak began. Thus far, people have reported illnesses from 38 states, which the CDC believes began in early November. An investigation is underway to determine if any other products were connected to the illnesses.
Since the outbreak was identified, many companies immediately issued recalls, and retailers pulled cantaloupes from the shelves, including pre-cut products. Crown Jewels Produce, Sofia Produce, and CF Dallas all issued recalls on their cantaloupe products. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that Cut Fruit Express also issued a recall of fruit mixes that contained cantaloupe and cantaloupe-only chunk cuts. Amid investigations, Canadian officials determined that the illnesses likely occurred after eating Malichita and Rudy brands. Most of the confirmed cases in Canada have occurred in nursing homes, retirement facilities, and daycares.
Individuals who eat salmonella-contaminated food will likely experience symptoms between 12 to 72 hours after consumption. Symptoms from food poisoning, such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps usually subside within four to seven days. Similar to other illnesses, people with weakened immune systems, seniors, and children under five may develop serious illness after salmonella food poisoning. Anyone who has become sick after eating cantaloupe should reach out to their healthcare provider to report the illness and be evaluated for treatment if necessary.
For now, health experts recommend throwing away any uneaten cantaloupe, even if it is unclear whether it is part of the recall. Restaurants should throw away fresh or frozen cantaloupe that has been recalled or suspected of being from a company that has recalled its cantaloupe. Consumers and retailers should sanitize areas that the cantaloupes have come into contact with by following the FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice.
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