Pre-packaged melons linked to a salmonella outbreak that has so far sickened nearly 100 people have been recalled, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control said in a statement that the fruits, distributed by Caito Foods, have been pulled from shelves by the company in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
“Caito Foods, LLC, of Indianapolis, Ind., has recalled products containing pre-cut melons because they are potentially contaminated with Salmonella,” the statement read. “Additionally, Caito Foods, LLC has temporarily suspended producing and distributing these products.”
The outbreak was linked to cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers at stores like Kroger, Target, Walmart, and Amazon/Whole Foods under various labels.
The FDA said the source of the melons has yet to be identified, but it is investigating shipping records to try and determine the origin of the contaminated melons.
So far, 93 people have been sickened and 23 hospitalized, although there have been no reported deaths.
The last case to be reported was March 31, and the states containing affected patients are Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The FDA advises customers in affected states to toss the fruit in the trash, especially if they are unsure as to whether it is a Caito product.
Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, with more severe cases facing high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, rashes, and blood in the urine or stool.
Illness and fever typically last four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.
The outbreak follows a January warning from the CDC not to get too close to hedgehogs, as the animals were the suspected cause of a multi-state salmonella outbreak that affected 17 people.
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