Melon Items Recalled After 60 Sick In Latest Outbreak

June 11th, 2018

Three days ago (June 8th), Caito Foods LLC. issued a statement recalling pre-cut melon products after 60 people, across eight different states, were infected with Salmonella.

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Chicago Tribune Source: Chicago Tribune

On June 8, the CDC announced a multi-state outbreak of the Salmonella bacteria. A warning was issued to consumers and retailers in the following states:

  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio

So far, those affected include 6 people in Illinois, 11 in Indiana, 32 in Michigan, 10 in Missouri, and 1 in Ohio. No one has gotten sick in Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina yet— but the recalled products were distributed in these areas and CDC is cautioning consumers to be careful, just in case.

The recalled products include fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fresh-cut fruit medley cups.

“In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill,” the CDC report explained.

“Twenty-five (64%) of 39 people interviewed reported eating pre-cut melon purchased from grocery stores, including cantaloupe, watermelon, or fruit-salad mix with melon.”

“An additional seven people reported consuming melons but did not specify if it was pre-cut.”

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC has tracked the outbreak back to items produced at the Caito Foods facility in Indiana, Illinois.

All recalled melon products were sold in clear, clamshell containers from the following retailers (supplied by Caito Foods):

  • Costco
  • Jay C.
  • Kroger
  • Payless
  • Owen’s
  • Sprouts
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods/Amazon

Although the CDC warns consumers to throw out any pre-cut melons bought at these stores, it is still investigating whether other states and stores have been affected as well.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC is asking people to get rid of any recalled melon products. “Throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund,” the report explains.

If you can’t remember where you bought your melon, you should also throw it out just to be safe.

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Techly Source: Techly

The recalled products are listed on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website.

If you think a product might be included in the recall, you can check by looking for the item’s UPC (the number beneath the sales barcode) in the table. The list can be viewed here.

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Website Screenshot Source: Website Screenshot

According to the CDC, 1.2 million people get infected with Salmonella every single year— with 450 dying as a result.

Salmonella is an enteric bacterium, which means it lives in the intestines of its hosts. Generally, the bacteria is transmitted when humans eat food contaminated with animal feces or food that was handled by an infected worker who didn’t practice proper hygiene.

People with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, beginning 12 to 72 hours after infection. Although most recover without treatment, for others, the impact can be particularly devastating.

“Children are at the highest risk for Salmonella infection. Children under the age of 6 have higher rates of Salmonella infection than any other age group,” according to the CDC.

“Young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections.”

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New Kids-Center Source: New Kids-Center

This outbreak is following a nine-state Salmonella outbreak that happened just a few months ago. In April, the CDC recalled more than 200 million eggs after the infection was traced back to Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Indiana. USA Today said the recent outbreak “could be America’s largest since 2010 when an Iowa-based outbreak sickened thousands and left farmers facing prison time.”

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