Last year, tainted cantaloupe caused the deadliest listeria outbreak in a decade. This year, the scare is back, but it’s Salmonella, not Listeria. To date, there have been 141 related reports of illness, including two deaths and thirty-one cases requiring hospitalization.
The FDA and CDC are in the early stages of their investigation as to the source. States which have been impacted include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Kentucky and Indiana officials have identified evidence that points to Indiana grown melons as the likely source of the outbreak.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that may begin within 12 to 72 hours after infection. Illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. In some cases, diarrhea may be severe enough to require hospitalization.
Consumers are urged to inquire from retailers where their cantaloupe comes from, and of course not to purchase any melons that come from southwestern Indiana.