The CDC sounded a food safety alert regarding a salmonella outbreak in cantaloupes linked to 32 states. Two people have died because of bacteria in the affected fruit. Multiple retailers and brands, including Trufresh, Vinyard Fruit and Vegetable Company, CF Dallas, ALDI, Crown Jewels Produce, and Pacific Trellis Fruit, issued recalls for whole and pre-cut cantaloupes.
Several brands are linked to the bacteria. These include Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupes, cubes, melon medleys, and fruit medleys. Oklahoma stores sold the fruit between Oct. 30 and Nov. 10, 2023. Most have a yellow label with “Vinyard,” and some have a red label with “Fresh.”
ALDI brand whole cantaloupes, pre-cut chunks in clamshell packaging, and pineapple spears in clamshell packaging are also affected. The best-by dates on these products are between Oct. 27 and Oct. 31, 2023. This fruit was sold in ALDI stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Additionally, Freshness Guaranteed brand and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes have been affected. These brands include chunks, seasonal blends, melon, and fruit mixes. They are packed in clear square or round plastic containers, and their best-by dates are between Nov. 7 and Nov. 12, 2023. This fruit was sold in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Customers who purchased these recalled products should not eat them. They should be thrown away or returned to where they were purchased. If these items are in the home, precautions can be taken to prevent further illness. Furthermore, customers should wash items and surfaces that may have touched the recalled fruit using hot, soapy water or a dishwasher. Call your healthcare provider if you are experiencing salmonella symptoms listed on the CDC’s website.
Most people infected with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually start six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria. However, many recover without treatment after four to seven days. There are some people — especially children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems — who may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.
According to the CDC, there have so far been 99 reported illnesses, 45 hospitalizations, and two deaths across 32 U.S. states connected to the salmonella outbreak. The agency noted that “the number of people with illnesses connected to the outbreak is likely higher than current figures suggest,” per ABC News.