Cut Fruit Express Recalls Cantaloupe Products for Possible Salmonella

Cut Fruit Express, Inc. of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota has recalled packaged fruit products containing cantaloupe over possible Salmonella contamination, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) said.

The fruit was distributed through September 5th, 2012. A complete listing of recalled products may be accessed on the FDA’s web site. The cantaloupe was supplied by DFI Marketing Inc. and the recall extends only to products with the Use-by Dates indicated on the FDA web site and that were sold in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. To date, no illnesses have been reported concerning the recalled Cut Fruit Express Products.

As we’ve explained, it can take between six and 72 hours from consumption of a contaminated product for the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning—salmonellosis—to appear. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required. Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses and can leave sufferers with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants; the elderly; and persons with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

The firm advises consumers who may have purchased the recalled cantaloupe products not to eat any of the affected product and immediately dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for credit. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1.651.438.8834. The firm also advises retailers to check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the products are present or available for purchase by consumers or in warehouse inventories.

We have been writing that Chamberlain Farms of Indiana is at the center of a cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak and just issued a recall for its watermelons. Previously, a DNA test confirmed that cantaloupes sickened people in a 22-state Salmonella outbreak that killed three people from Kentucky. Of those sickened, 62 required hospitalization. According to a Chamberlain Farm Produce Inc. statement, the farm indicated that it did not know of any illnesses linked to its watermelons. United States health officials previously said that the strain involved with the contaminated Chamberlain cantaloupe is Salmonella Tynphimurium.

We recently wrote that the first lawsuit was filed in the ongoing Chamberlain Salmonella outbreak and involved a Michigan woman who is suing Walmart for selling the cantaloupe. According to Angela Compton of Battle Creek, Michigan, who purchased three cantaloupes on July 12 from her local Walmart, the fruit sickened both of her children who were hospitalized and tested positive for the Salmonella pathogen; the lawsuit was filed in Calhoun County Circuit Court in Michigan. Tim Chamberlain of Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana, said he voluntarily stopped production on August 16, adding that he has had no other issues at the farm since it opened in 1982. The agency advised Chamberlain Farms on August 16 that his cantaloupes posed a potential health risk. According to Chamberlain, he is not aware of the what caused the outbreak.

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