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Dozens of people sickened by salmonella in popular fruit

Dozens of people sickened by salmonella in popular fruit

At least 43 people have been infected in a salmonella outbreak after whole and pre-cut cantaloupe melons were found contaminated.

The Food and Drug Administration has circulated warnings from Aldi, Sofia Produce and Vinyard, who have recalled their cantaloupe products across the country.

Across 15 states, there have been 43 people infected with the salmonella bacteria, with 17 people having to be admitted to hospital due to the seriousness of the illness.

It is currently unclear what caused the outbreak dispersed by the fruit.

Customers who have bought the recalled fruit have been advised not to eat and throw them away immediately as investigators from the FDA continue to try to identify any other cantaloupe products that may be infected.

Aldi’s cantaloupe, cut cantaloupe and pineapple spears in clamshell packaging with best-buy dates from 27 October to 31 October have been recalled.

Vinyard’s cantaloupe chunks, cubes, fruit mixes, melon medleys, and cups containing cantaloupe have all been recalled. The products were sold between 30 October and 10 November in stores in Oklahoma.

Sofia Produce, which operates under the name “Trufresh,” has also recalled their cantaloupes that bear a label that says “Malichita,” “4050,” and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique” that were sold between 16 October and 23 October.

So far, the FDA reports that the cantaloupes were distributed in Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, and Canada.

The spread of the salmonella outbreak linked to the cantaloupes in the US (CDC)
The spread of the salmonella outbreak linked to the cantaloupes in the US (CDC)

However, it is possible that the cantaloupes could have found their way into other states through further distribution.

Canadian authorities have also made a public health announcement recalling Malichita cantaloupes and are working with the FDA and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the investigation.

As of 17 November, Canada said there had been 14 reported salmonella cases within their provinces.

There are around 1.35 million cases and 420 deaths linked to Salmonella in the US each year, and is often spread through food, according to the CDC.

Those who are more susceptible to severe or fatal cases are young children, frail or elderly people and others with a weakened immune system.

Symptoms from the bacteria can appear quite quickly from infection, usually between six hours and six days. The illness can last from four to seven days, so it may take a while to identify a case related to the cantaloupe outbreak.

Usually, people suffering from the infection will have diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps.

Most people can recover on their own, but some people who are seriously ill may need antibiotics.

The FDA, the CDC and Canadian authorities are continuing to investigate the Salmonella outbreak.

A spokesperson from Trufresh told The Independent, “At this point of the investigation, all I can say is that Trufresh is working diligently in cooperation with the United States and Canadian authorities on the ongoing investigation and to address the issues presented.”

The Independent has contacted Vineyard and Aldi for comment.