Salmonella Outbreak from Cantaloupes in US Causes Two Fatalities

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — A salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit products has caused at least two fatalities and severe illness in dozens of individuals, prompting heightened concern from US health authorities.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 99 reported cases of illness, with 45 hospitalizations and two confirmed deaths. The outbreak has spread to 32 states and Canada, with new cases emerging in 17 additional states. The latest onset date recorded was November 10. Consuming food contaminated with salmonella can lead to food poisoning within 12 to 72 hours, resulting in symptoms lasting 4 to 7 days. These symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Severe infections are more likely in individuals with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and children under five years of age.

Health officials have issued recalls for three more brands of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes as the number of people sickened by salmonella more than doubled this week. The US Food and Drug Administration’s original recall included Malichita brand whole cantaloupe, Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupe, and ALDI whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products. Rudy brand whole cantaloupes and Freshness Guaranteed brand and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes joined the list Friday.

Anyone who bought the recalled fruits should throw them away and wash surfaces that touched them with hot, soapy water or in a dishwasher. Individuals experiencing symptoms are advised to contact their healthcare provider to report their symptoms and seek appropriate care.

Salmonella infection can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps within six hours to six days after consuming contaminated food. Illnesses typically last four to seven days. Vulnerable people, including children, those older than 65, and those with weakened immune systems, may develop severe illnesses that require medical care or hospitalization.