Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Cantaloupe-Caused Salmonella Outbreak Not Over Yet

The Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to contaminated cantaloupes is continuing to grow.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta Thursday added 26 confirmed cases in 12 states to the outbreak, which brings the total sickened to 204 from 22 states.

Since the last CDC update on Aug. 23, Florida joined the outbreak with one case. No additional deaths were reported beyond the two from Kentucky that were first announced when CDC first confirmed the outbreak was underway on Aug. 17.

The outbreak strain of S. Typhimurium was matched to cantaloupe collected from Owensville, IN-based Chamberlain Farms by investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during site visits on Aug. 14 to 16.

FDA reportedly took samples from surface areas at the farm as well as cantaloupes themselves. It is not known if an interstate trucking company that shares an address with Chamberlain Farms, and that hauls fresh produce, was also visited by FDA investigators.

CDC says 52 percent of the ill for whom information is available have required hospitalization. For the 149 who’ve reported to CDC, illness onset dates range from July 7, 2012 to August 18, 2012. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 100 years, with a median age of 50 years. Fifty-nine percent of ill persons are female.

Illnesses that occurred after August 7, 2012 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported, according to the CDC report.

This is the second summer that cantaloupes have been named as the source of a major outbreak of foodborne illness.

Last year, Colorado’s Jensen Farms was the source of a Listeria outbreak that was the most deadly food poisoning incident of its kind in 100 years, killing 33 directly and contributing to up to 43 deaths.

© Food Safety News