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November 25, 2023

Pennsylvania added to cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak as cases surge following CDC's expanded recall

Two people have died from the outbreak across 32 states. There have been 45 hospitalizations nationwide

As the number of cases of Salmonella linked to cantaloupes has increased, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its recall of the fruits. 

Notably, people in Pennsylvania have been added to the outbreak with two confirmed cases as an additional 56 cases have been confirmed, bringing the total number of people affected to 99 across 32 states. In Minnesota, there have been two deaths. 

An investigation involving interviews with affected individuals and laboratory analyses pointed to cantaloupes as the source of the Salmonella outbreak on Nov. 17. 

Various brands and types of cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit products have been recalled across different states.

Recalled items include whole cantaloupes with stickers bearing "Malichita" or "Rudy," marked with the number "4050" and "Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique." Additionally, Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupes, sold in Oklahoma stores between Oct. 30 and Nov. 10, have been flagged. ALDI stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin have also seen recalls of whole cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit products with best-by dates between Oct. 27 and Oct. 31. Freshness Guaranteed and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes available in multiple states, are also included in the recall.

Investigations are ongoing to identify any additional cantaloupe products that may be contaminated. Canada is also grappling with a similar Salmonella strain linked to cantaloupes.

Consumers should refrain from consuming any recalled cantaloupes and other fruit products. Any of the fruits should be disposed of or returned to the store, according to the CDC. The agency advised people to thoroughly wash items and surfaces that may have come into contact with the recalled fruit using hot, soapy water or a dishwasher. Individuals experiencing severe Salmonella symptoms, such as diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F, should promptly contact their healthcare provider.

Businesses are urged not to sell or serve recalled cantaloupes or fruit products. It is essential to follow stringent hygiene practices, including washing and sanitizing items and surfaces that may have been in contact with the recalled fruit.

Salmonella symptoms, which include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, typically manifest 6 hours to 6 days after exposure. While most individuals recover without treatment within 4 to 7 days, vulnerable populations such as children under 5, adults over 65, and those with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illnesses requiring medical attention or hospitalization.

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