In an effort to warn consumers about a potential health risk, U.S. health officials have issued a warning against eating certain whole and pre-cut cantaloupe 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 cantaloupe 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 should immediately dispose of any products they may have in their homes that fall under the recall list. The products were sold between Oct. 16th and Nov. 10th and were recalled earlier this month due to concerns over contamination with salmonella bacteria. Investigators are currently working to identify any additional cantaloupe products that may be contaminated with the same strain of bacteria as those found in Malichita brand cantaloupes in Canada, which has also reported an outbreak involving the same strain of salmonella.
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 symptoms to appear after consuming food contaminated with salmonella bacteria, making it difficult for health officials to determine the exact scope of the outbreak at this time.
Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps within six hours to six days after consuming contaminated food or water. Illnesses typically last for four to seven days but can persist for up to two weeks or longer in some cases, particularly among vulnerable populations such as children, older adults over the age of 65, and individuals with weakened immune systems due to illness or treatment for cancer or HIV/AIDS.
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