As promised, a New Jersey company is recalling pre-cut fresh fruit from hospitals, schools and other institutions because of a link to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 30.
Tailor Cut Produce is recalling its Fruit luau, cut honeydew, cut cantaloupe and cut pineapple products, according to a company notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration. Pennsylvania officials announced on Saturday, Dec. 7, that the company’s fruit had been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Javiana. At least 31 people have been confirmed sick.
The company reports distributing the implicated fruit in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware between Nov. 15 and Dec. 1. Tailor Cut Produce officials say the recalled products could be in restaurants, banquet facilities, hotels, schools, and institutional food service establishments.
“The product comes in 2/1 gallon cases with a date of production stamped on the side,” according to the Tailor recall notice posted on the FDA website. “Distributors who have purchased the cut fruit products dated November 15 – December 1 are urged to quarantine them and to call for further instructions.
“The potential for contamination was noted after several patients fell ill in four hospitals in Pennsylvania. Production of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.”
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the epidemiologic evidence collected thus far indicates that this fruit mix is a potential source of the illnesses. The state’s review of invoices shows that a common food eaten by many confirmed outbreak patients was the fruit mix from Tailor Cut Produce.
The FDA activated a team to coordinate its outbreak investigation. On Dec. 6, the FDA and the Pennsylvania health officials told company officials about the results of the investigation thus far. At that time the firm’s leaders said they would work with FDA to implement a recall.
About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has eaten any recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.
Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.
Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.