13 Sick in Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have just announced a multi-state outbreak of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella. The dangerous pathogen has been linked to tainted cantaloupe, which has sickened 13 in five states, according to CNN Health.

There have been no deaths reported; however, Oregon (5), Washington State (4), California (2), Colorado (1), and Maryland (1), have all reported illnesses linked to the contaminated cantaloupe, said CNN Health; three have required hospitalization, said the CDC’s website.

“This is a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Panama,” said Dr. Ian Williams, chief of the CDC’s outbreak response and prevention branch. “It is an unusual [type of salmonella], and it’s a really unusual occurence to have this many cases at once, so we figured that everyone who was sick had something in common,” quoted CNN Health. The common factor appears to be cantaloupe.

Del Monte Fresh Produce recalled nearly 5,000 cartons of cantaloupe on March 22 over concerns about Salmonella contamination, said CNN Health. The recalled melons were distributed via wholesale warehouse clubs in the states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, said the CDC. “The recalled products consist of cartons of cantaloupes, each containing four plastic mesh sleeves with three cantaloupes per sleeve that were available for sale between March 10 and March 21, 2011,” said a CDC press release, quoted CNN Health.

We’ve been following the cantaloupe food poisoning outbreak and wrote, last week, that the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) announced that the CDC is working with health officials in some states as well as with federal investigators.

As of the last announcement, the patients were between one and 68 years of age, said CIDRAP and all but one of the ill patients ate cantaloupe in the week prior to falling ill and all 10 ate cantaloupe purchased at seven separate locations that were part of national warehouse club, Costco, according to the media, noted CIDRAP.

The investigation involved utilizing Costco membership card records to locate the one farm involved, said the CDC. According to its recall notice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the cantaloupes came from a Del Monte’s farms in Asuncion Mita, Guatemala, wrote CIDRAP, which said 4,992 cartons of recalled cantaloupes were distributed through Costco in seven western states and sold March 10-21.

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