More salmonella cases, 2 deaths reported as cantaloupe recall expands

ByJen Christensen, CNN, CNNWire
Saturday, November 25, 2023
More salmonella cases, 2 deaths reported as cantaloupe recall expands
What is salmonella? Two people are dead and at least 99 have become ill as a cantaloupe recall expands, the CDC said.

Two people are dead and at least 99 have become ill in a salmonella outbreak tied to contaminated cantaloupes and cut fruit, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Salmonella cases have now been reported in 32 states in connection with this outbreak, and 45 people have been hospitalized. The two deaths were reported by health authorities in Minnesota, the CDC said.

The number of brands involved in a related fruit recall has also expanded to include Rudy brand whole cantaloupes and Freshness Guaranteed brand and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupe, in addition to some Vinyard and Aldi fruit products.

Recalled cantaloupes may have a sticker that says "Rudy" or "Malichita" with the number 4050 and "Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique," the CDC said.

If you have any of these recalled products at home, throw them away or return them to the store where you bought them, the CDC said. Make sure you wash any items or surfaces that have come into contact with the fruit using hot soapy water. A dishwasher will also help get rid of the bacteria.

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The CDC is also urging businesses not to sell the contaminated fruit and to wash and sanitize items that have come into contact with it.

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever. Symptoms typically start six hours to six days after someone swallows the bacteria.

Get medical care right away if you think you have eaten some of this fruit and have a fever higher than 102, diarrhea for more than three days that won't go away, bloody diarrhea, vomiting that won't stop or dehydration.

Anyone can get sick with salmonella, but some people are more vulnerable to severe symptoms, including the elderly, pregnant people, children and those with underlying illnesses that weaken the immune system.

Salmonella infections are common. The bacteria causes about 1.35 million human infections and 26,5000 hospitalizations in the US every year, according to the CDC.

Such infections are also costly. Foodborne salmonella infections cost the US $4.1 billion annually, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The CDC says it will continue to investigate the outbreak to identify any other cantaloupe or cut fruit products that may be contaminated. Health officials in Canada are also investigating because there are some illnesses in that country, as well.

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