A Colorado resident is the 13th person to be confirmed infected with an outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama tied to cantaloupe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.
In its investigation update, the CDC said 12 of the 13 who are infected reported eating cantaloupe in the week before they became ill. Eleven of those 12 had eaten cantaloupes purchased between March 10 and 21 at eight different locations of “a national warehouse club” in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The warehouse club is still not named in the report, but Costco has published the recall information on its customer service product notes.
Del Monte Fresh recalled 4,992 cartons of cantaloupes on March 22, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified the Coral Gables, FL-based company of the outbreak. Product traceback information indicated the cantaloupes were from a single grower in Guatemala.
The recalled cantaloupe cartons contain four plastic beige mesh sleeves, each sealed with a plastic orange handle imprinted with the Del Monte label and “3 count, product of Guatemala,” with three whole cantaloupes per sleeve.
Salmonella Panama is a rare serotype that has been isolated before in food, according to Dutch researchers in a September 2010 report in Infectious Diseases Bulletin. Panama usually causes gastroenteritis, the authors wrote, but may be more likely than other serotypes to cause complications such as bacteremia and meningitis.
Outbreak map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention