Salmonella: Tonight the FDA reported that Caito Foods is voluntarily recalling fresh cut watermelon, fresh cut honeydew melon, fresh cut cantaloupe and fresh cut mixed fruit containing one of these melons, produced at the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis because these products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Carrau, an organism which 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. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
Reports of illnesses linked to these products are under investigation, and Caito Foods is voluntarily recalling the products out of an abundance of caution. The company has been advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it has linked 93 illnesses to the strain of Salmonella under investigation. Caito Foods has temporarily suspended producing and distributing these products as the company and FDA continue their investigations.
The products were packaged in clear, plastic clamshell containers and distributed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. A full list of recalled products, including the brand, product label and retailer where sold, is included below. Caito Food and SpartanNash Company supply to independent retailers, so it is important to look at the label description and brand information to identify the product.
Because it is possible that products could still be on store shelves, this recall extends to both retailers and consumers. Consumers should not consume the product and should promptly dispose of any remaining product.
The potential that these products are contaminated with Salmonella was discovered through information gathered by state departments of public health.
E. coli: As of April 12, 2019, 109 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from six states. CDC is reporting the 109 illnesses that the PulseNet laboratory network has confirmed are part of this outbreak. States are investigating additional illnesses that might be a part of this outbreak. A list of the states and the number of confirmed cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.
Illnesses started on dates from March 2, 2019, to March 26, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 83 years, with a median age of 18. Fifty-three percent are female. Of 81 people with information available, 17 (21%) have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome have been reported.
Illnesses that occurred after March 20, 2019, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.
This multistate investigation began on March 28, 2019, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified CDC of this outbreak. Preliminary epidemiologic information suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Sixty-three (84%) of 75 people interviewed reported eating ground beef. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey Cdc-pdf[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people. Ill people bought or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants. Many ill people bought large trays or chubs of ground beef from grocery stores and used the meat to make dishes like spaghetti sauce and sloppy joe.
Traceback investigations are ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurants where ill people ate. At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified. Consumers should follow steps to handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly.