15-state Salmonella outbreak linked to contaminated cantaloupes

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a Food Safety Alert for cantaloupes linked to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened people in 15 states, including Ohio.

Three recalls have been issued associated with the outbreak, involving cantaloupes from multiple brands, including Malichita, ALDI and Vinyard.

Each recall was issued after Sophia Foods, LLC was notified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency of potential Salmonella contamination in its whole cantaloupes.

Malichita recall

Whole Malichita-brand cantaloupes sold between Oct. 16 23, which were distributed to Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida and Canada, though the cantaloupes would reach consumers through retail markets in other states.

The cantaloupes are packaged in cardboard containers with the “Malichita” label with individual PLU stickers. The stickers include the word “Malichita” in black script, with the number “4050″ together with the words “Product of Mexico/Produit du Mexique.”

Malichita is owned by Sofia Produce, LLC, doing business as TruFresh.

ALDI recall

ALDI Inc. is recalling its whole cantaloupes and 16-ounce clamshell packages of cantaloupe chunks and pineapple spears sold between Oct. 27-31 in ALDI stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The recall is being issued in cooperation with Anthony Marano Co. and Market Cuts LLC, in association with Sofia Produce, LLC, doing business as TruFresh.

Vinyard recall

Vinyard Fruit and Vegetable Company has recalled a variety of cut cantaloupe products sold from Oct. 30 and Nov. 10 in Oklahoma.

Cantaloupes recalled by Sophia Foods LLC were used as a raw material in the Vinyard cantaloupe products.

Salmonella outbreak

The Salmonella outbreak is linked to 43 known illnesses across 15 states, 17 of which sent people to the hospital.

States with illnesses include Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The CDC said that it expects that the outbreak isn’t just limited to those 15 states, and that the true number of sick people is likely much higher, since many people recover from Salmonella without medical care and are never tested.

Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, starting 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria.

Most recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days, though some people, especially children under 5 years old, older adults and people with weakened immune systems could experience a more severe infection requiring medical treatment or hospitalization.

Anyone with one of the recalled cantaloupes or fruit products are urged to throw them away or return them, then wash items and surfaces that might have touched the fruit with hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

If you experience diarrhea with a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit or that lasts more than 3 days, bloody diarrhea, so much vomiting that you can’t keep liquids down or signs of dehydration, the CDC said to call your healthcare provider.

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