U.S/CANADA – Over 100 people in the United States and Canada have fallen ill with Salmonella after consuming cantaloupe and other fruits currently under recall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The outbreak has raised alarms as it underscores the potential risks associated with the agri-food supply chain.
The CDC reported that 99 people across 32 states in the U.S. have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella.
Tragically, Minnesota reported two deaths, and 45 individuals have been hospitalized. Simultaneously, in Canada, as of November 22, 26 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Soahanina and Sundsvall have been identified, with six individuals hospitalized and fortunately, no reported deaths.
However, the CFIA has expanded its recall to include other brands and various related products, such as pre-cut pineapples, honeydew melons, and watermelons processed alongside Malichita cantaloupes.
As of November 24, the CFIA updated its recall to include Rudy brand cantaloupes sold between October 10 and November 24, 2023.
Secondary recalls have been issued for products made with the recalled cantaloupes and for items processed alongside them. The investigation found the outbreak strains of Salmonella in samples of the recalled Malichita brand cantaloupe.
The outbreak has seen a significant increase in confirmed cases in the United States, with 99 individuals infected and two reported deaths.
The CDC emphasizes that the actual number of cases may be higher, as people often do not seek medical attention for mild symptoms, and Salmonella infections are frequently misdiagnosed.
Public health officials advise consumers to discard cantaloupes if unsure of the brand. Washing cantaloupe is not considered sufficient to remove pathogens due to the fruit’s rough rind. Furthermore, bacteria on the outside can be dragged into the flesh during cutting.
Recalled products in the United States
Several brands and products have been recalled in the U.S., including whole cantaloupes with stickers indicating “Malichita” or “Rudy,” Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupes, ALDI whole cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit products, and Freshness Guaranteed and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes.
These products were sold in various states, and consumers are urged to check recall notices for specific details.