A recent North American Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe has led to a recall involving several American states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as Canada.

The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture recently advised Minnesotans that the state is included in the recall and there have already been 5 Salmonella cases reported within the state.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and even fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.

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The cantaloupes were distributed directly to Canada and to the following states in America:

  • Wisconsin
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Tennessee
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin
  • Texas
  • Florida

However, the cantaloupes would have reached consumers through retail produce markets which could be located in states other than those listed above. That would explain why Salmonella cases are being reported in Minnesota. Five people in the Twin Cities metro area reportedly became sick from October 25 to November 4, and one was hospitalized.

The cantaloupes involved in the recall are packaged in cardboard containers bearing the “Malichita” label, as pictured below.

FDA
FDA
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They also have an individual PLU sticker placed upon each cantaloupe. As shown in the picture below, the PLU sticker has a top half that is white which has the word “Malichita” written in script in black letters. The bottom of the PLU sticker is black and has the number “4050” prominently displayed in white letters together with the words “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique”. This label will identify individual Malichita cantaloupes purchased by consumers.

FDA
FDA
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The FDA urges consumers to take the following actions:

  • Check to see if you have recalled products
  • Do not consume, serve, use, sell, or distribute recalled products
  • Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased
  • Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the recalled product are advised to contact their retailer
  • If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, contact your healthcare provider. Symptoms would likely include diarrhea and fever.

They add that this is an ongoing investigation and additional products, such as cut fruit sold under a different label, might be added to the recall as more information becomes available. Updates of this recall would be placed on the FDA website.

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