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CDC Announces Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Pre-Cut Melon

JUN 12, 2018 | MICHAELA FLEMING
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced another a multistate outbreak of Salmonella, this time, linked to pre-cut melon.

As of June 8, 2018, 60 cases of Salmonella Adelaide have been reported spanning 5 states; a little more than half (31) of these individuals have required hospitalization for their infections. To date, no deaths have been reported.

The infected individuals range from 1 to 97 years in age, with a median age of 67, according to the CDC. Available data indicate that 65% of those who have fallen ill are female. The reported dates of illness range from April 30 to May 28; however, according to the CDC, Salmonella can take up to 2 to 4 weeks to diagnose and report. As such, any illnesses that have occurred after May 28 may not have been reported yet.

For their investigation, health officials interviewed 39 individuals who had fallen ill. After inquiring about any foods they had consumed or any other potential exposures that might have led to illness, they found that 25 (64%) of the individuals reported having eaten pre-cut melon products purchased from grocery stores. The CDC notes that 7 additional ill individuals reported consuming melon products, but did not specify that they had been pre-cut.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence led officials back to fruit produced by Caito Foods Distribution of Indianapolis, Indiana, as the potential source of the outbreak. After learning of the potential for contamination, on June 8, 2018, the company issued a recall for their pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and mixed medley products. The products are packaged in plastic clamshell containers and sold at several stores including Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods throughout 8 states. The company has also halted the production and distribution of these products as health officials continue their investigation.

The CDC advises consumers to avoid recalled products and to throw away or return any of the products for a refund. Additionally, retailers should stop selling and serving any of the pre-cut melon products from Caito Foods Distribution, Gordon Food Service, and SpartanNash Distribution.

Common symptoms associated with Salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If you are a health care provider practicing in one of the states affected by the outbreak, be cognizant of any patients who present with such symptoms.

The CDC will provide updates to the outbreak as information becomes available.

For the most recent case counts and states affected by the Salmonella outbreak linked with pre-cut melon, be sure to check out the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.
 
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