UPDATE: More states selling melon linked to salmonella outbreak, FDA says
UPDATE: Health officials on Thursday added 10 more states to the list of retail locations that may have received cut melons possibly contaminated with salmonella, bringing the total number of states to 23.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Caito Foods LLC recalled pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fruit medleys containing at least one of those melons that were produced at its facility in Indianapolis.
The full list of states now includes: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The CDC said the fruit was distributed and sold in clear plastic clamshell containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen's, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Walgreens, Walmart and Whole Foods/Amazon.
The FDA has posted a full list of retailers and locations where it believes the contaminated melon was sold.
Consumers who have purchased cut melon from these locations should throw it away. In addition, the agency has advised retailers not to serve or sell precut melon products distributed by Caito Foods Distribution, Gordon Food Service or SpartanNash Distribution.
According to the CDC, at least 60 people became ill between April 30 and May 28 in five Midwestern states, where the outbreak was initially reported.
Although the FDA has expanded the list of states warned about consumption of melon, the CDC has not updated the number of illnesses reported.
The CDC says 31 of the people sickened have been hospitalized, but there have been no deaths reported.
Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain that begins 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated food. Most people recover in four to seven days.
According to the CDC, salmonella is to blame for 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year in the United States.
PREVIOUS STORY: At least 60 people have been made sick and 31 are in the hospital after eating pre-cut melon contaminated with salmonella, federal health officials said Saturday.
The suspected cut melon products were sold in stores including Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Walgreens and Whole Foods in eight states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
They are all linked to the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, the CDC said.
“Recalled products were distributed to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio,” the CDC said.
People should not eat the recalled cut melon or fruit salad products, the CDC said.
“Check your fridge and freezer for them and throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund,” the CDC said.
“If you don’t remember where you bought pre-cut melon, don’t eat it and throw it away.”
It’s likely more cases will turn up, the CDC said. It can take days or weeks for food-borne illnesses to get reported.
Separately, the CDC is reporting an outbreak of salmonella linked to backyard chickens that had made 124 people in 36 states sick. The CDC says 21 people have been hospitalized. A third of the cases are in children under the age of 5.
Backyard chickens and chicks are a common source of salmonella.
“The people who got sick reported getting chicks and ducklings from places such as feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives,” the CDC said.
“People can get sick from salmonella from touching live poultry or their environment. Birds carrying the bacteria can appear healthy and clean,” it added.
“It’s important to always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment. Don’t let children younger than 5 years handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision.”
Salmonella is a very common cause of food poisoning. Every year, it makes about 1.2 million people sick, puts 23,000 into the hospital and kills 450 people in the U.S.
It causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.