In a warning to consumers, US health officials have urged people not to eat certain whole and pre-cut cantaloupes and fruit products linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning. At least 43 people in 15 states have been infected in the outbreak announced on Friday, including 17 who were hospitalized. Several brands of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit have been recalled, including Malichita brand whole cantaloupe, Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupe, and ALDI whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products.
Consumers who have these products at home should throw them away immediately. The products were sold between October 16th and November 10th and were recalled earlier this month. Investigators are currently working to identify any additional cantaloupe products that may be contaminated. Officials in Canada are also investigating an outbreak involving the same strain of salmonella, which they detected in a sample of Malichita brand cantaloupe.
The number of people sickened in the outbreak is likely much higher than those reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to states with known illnesses. It typically takes three to four weeks for health officials to determine whether a person is part of an outbreak. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning usually develop within six hours to six days after consuming contaminated food or water, causing diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. These symptoms usually last for four to seven days, but severe illnesses may require medical care or hospitalization for vulnerable populations such as children, elderly individuals over the age of 65, and those with weakened immune systems.
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