Cantaloupes Linked to Deadly Salmonella Outbreak in 32 States, CDC Says

November 27, 2023 by Dan McCue
Cantaloupes Linked to Deadly Salmonella Outbreak in 32 States, CDC Says
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ATLANTA —Two people have died and at least 45 people have been hospitalized due to a salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupes, and the number of cases has doubled in the past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.

The infected fruit may have a sticker that says “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the number “4050” and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique” on it, the CDC said.

The outbreak was first announced by the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 17, at which time there were 43 known cases of illness and 17 hospitalizations in 15 states.

Since then the two deaths have occurred and there have been 56 new illnesses and 28 new hospitalizations in 32 states.

As a result of the outbreak, a number of fruit producers issued recalls for a number of cantaloupe and cantaloupe products that were distributed nationwide.

In addition to the aforementioned whole cantaloupes imported from Mexico, the recalls apply to pre-cut cantaloupes sold under the “Vinyard,” “Aldi,” “Freshness Guaranteed” and “RaceTrac” brand names.

The current recalls are for:

Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupes

  • Includes cantaloupe cubes, melon medleys and fruit medleys.
  • Sold in Oklahoma stores between Oct. 30 and Nov. 10, 2023.
  • Have a yellow label with “Vinyard,” and some have a red label with “Fresh.”

ALDI whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products

  • Includes whole cantaloupes, cantaloupe chunks in clamshell packaging and pineapple spears in clamshell packaging.
  • Includes best-by dates between Oct. 27 and Oct. 31, 2023.
  • Sold in ALDI stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Freshness Guaranteed brand and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes

  • Includes cantaloupe chunks, seasonal blend, melon mixes and fruit mixes.
  • Packed in clear square or round plastic containers.
  • Includes best-by dates between Nov. 7 to Nov. 12, 2023.
  • Sold in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The CDC is advising consumers to throw away any cantaloupes that fall under the recall description or to return them to the store in which they were purchased.

It also stresses that anyone having these cantaloupes or cantaloupe products wash items and surfaces that may have touched the recalled fruit using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

The agency advises calling one’s health care provider if they have any of these severe salmonella symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F.
  • Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving.
  • Bloody diarrhea.
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down.
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
  • Not urinating much.
  • Dry mouth and throat.
  • Feeling dizzy when standing up.

Salmonella is a food-borne bacteria that infects people with a potentially fatal disease called salmonellosis. It is estimated that 1.35 million Americans become ill due to salmonella each year. Of that number, more than 400 people in the United States die from the infection annually.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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