Half of the people confirmed with Salmonella infections associated with pre-cut melon had to be admitted to hospitals, according to federal officials who say the outbreak is over.
Public health officials say the risk of additional illnesses in this outbreak is slim. As of July 26, 77 people across nine states had been confirmed with Salmonella Adelaide infections. No deaths were reported, according to the final outbreak update posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 70 patients for whom the information was available, 36 required hospitalization.
“Thirty-six (64%) of 56 people interviewed reported eating pre-cut melon purchased from grocery stores, including cantaloupe, watermelon, or a fruit salad mix with melon. Twelve other people reported eating melon, but did not specify whether it was pre-cut,” the CDC reported.
“Information collected from stores where ill people shopped indicated that Caito Foods LLC supplied pre-cut melon to these stores.”
Retailers that received the implicated fruit from Caito Foods included Kroger, Spartan Nash, Walmart, Walgreens, Sprouts, Trader Joes and Whole Foods.
The Indiana produce company recalled pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and freshcut fruit medley products containing one of these melons that were produced at its facility in Indianapolis.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 30 to July 2. Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 year to 97. Among ill people, 67 percent were female.
As with its previous reports on the outbreak, the CDC again reminded consumers of the need to wash fresh produce.
“In the United States, nearly half of foodborne illnesses are caused by germs on fresh fruits and vegetables. CDC recommends that consumers, restaurants, and retailers always choose and handle fruits safely to help prevent foodborne illness,” according to the agency’s Thursday notice.
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