California’s Department of Public Health is warning consumers in the Golden State not to eat Del Monte brand whole cantaloupe sold between Oct. 5th and 16th at Northern California and Nevada Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Foods, and Food Sources stores.

Dr. Mark Horton, public health director, said the retail stores are voluntarily recalling 1,120 cartons of cantaloupe found through routine testing to be contaminated with Salmonella.

No illnesses have yet been associated with the recall.

Horton said anyone with cantaloupes purchased during that period of time from those retailers should return them for a full refund, or discard them immediately.

Salmonella bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Anyone who ate one of these cantaloupes and is experiencing such symptoms should see their doctor.

There have been several Salmonella-related outbreaks involving cantaloupe in recent years.  Some have involved serious injuries and even death.

Previous outbreaks were traced to cantaloupes grown in Mexico (2001, 2002); and Honduras (2008).

Guidelines for preventing illness from cantaloupes suggest scrubbing whole cantaloupes by using a clean produce brush and cool tap water immediately before eating. Do not use soap or detergent.