Salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut Walmart melon


Consumers who purchased pre-cut melon from Walmart stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri or OH should not eat it and are advised to throw it away, the CDC recommends. The other states with reported illnesses are IN (11 people), Missouri (10), IL (6), and OH, with one person taken ill.

Indianapolis-based Caito Foods has issued a voluntary recall of some of its fresh-cut watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and fresh-cut mixed fruit products.

The melons were shipped to stores between April 17 and June 7, 2018 and the company has stopped making the product for now, according to a Caito Foods press release. "However, if a Kroger customer has any concerns about pre-cut melon and/or pre-made fruit salads purchased at a Kroger store, they may return it to the store for a full refund".

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Walmart and Kroger have removed the cut melon products from their stores and area cooperating with a Centers for Disease Control investigation.

The melon was distributed to Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Illinois and Kentucky.

Only pre-cut melon is affected by the recall. No deaths have occurred so far, although 31 affected people were hospitalized. It includes products from the above listed stores as well as Costco, Gordon Food Service, Sprouts, and some food distributors. It only applies to pre-cut melon and fruit salad mixes containing melon.

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Reports of illnesses linked to these products are under investigation, and Caito Foods is voluntarily recalling the products out of an abundance of caution.

Symptoms from a salmonella infection usually appear between 12 and 72 hours after consuming contaminated food, according to the CDC.

Health officials say only pre-cut melons have been linked at this time and recommend consumers buy whole melons.

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Recalled products are sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers at a number of different retailers. The elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.