The FDA has determined an outbreak of infections from Salmonella Typhimurium was from contaminated cantaloupe and declared its investigation over.
First posted on Aug. 17 by the Food and Drug Administration, there has been little information available on the outbreak, except for the patient count, which currently stands at 87. The agency did not report the ages of the patients or their states of residence.
At the first posting, there were 44 confirmed patients. The source of the Salmonella was listed as unknown from Aug. 17 to Oct. 5.
The FDA has been working on traceback, testing and on-site inspections for weeks, but did not reveal what food was being traced. On Oct. 5 it announced that the investigation had determined cantaloupe was the source of the pathogen.
The agency did not report whether the cantaloupe involved was whole fruit or fresh-cut. It also did not reveal a grower, packer, distributor or retailers where the cantaloupe was produced and sold.
“The vehicle of the outbreak was confirmed after the outbreak ended. Given the product(s) were no longer on the market, there was no ongoing risk to public health and no need to avoid eating cantaloupe. Additional information on this outbreak will be forthcoming,” according to the FDA.
The FDA did not report when the implicated cantaloupe was no longer available to the public.
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 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.
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