Iowa added to salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut melon

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Kroger reported that it has withdrawn store-brand precut cantaloupe, watermelon and melon mixes sold at Kroger, Jay C, Owen's and Pay Less stores in IN and MI due to possible salmonella contamination.

Consumers who purchased pre-cut, Caito melons from these stores should not eat the products and should throw them away or return them for a refund.

Kentucky and IN are part of a melon recall prompted by a multi-state outbreak of salmonella-related infections.

"Epidemiologic and preliminary traceback evidence indicates that pre-cut melon supplied by Caito Foods, LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana is a likely source of this multistate outbreak", the CDC notes on its website. "On June 7, 2018, Walmart and Kroger removed pre-cut melon linked to this outbreak from all Walmart, Kroger, Jay C and Payless stores from the affected states". Of the 60 people to become ill, the CDC had information on 47 cases, with 31, or 66 percent, involving hospitalization.

Produced at a Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, the fruit, packaged in clear plastic containers, was distributed to retailers in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and OH, the FDA said Tuesday in an update that upped the number of states to nine.

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Salmonella infections can spread from a person's intestines to their bloodstream, and in certain cases can be deadly unless treated quickly with antibiotics. "Caito Foods has ceased producing and distributing these products as the company and FDA continue their investigation".

Sickness usually develops within 12 to 72 hours of being exposed to salmonella and can last four to seven days, with most people recovering without treatment, according to the CDC.

The outbreak has reportedly led to lawsuits in at least three states, including MI, the hardest hit with 32 cases.

Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Those affected by the latest outbreak range from ages 1 to 97, and majority have been female.

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