Tainted Cantaloupe Outbreak
A salmonella outbreak connected to contaminated cantaloupe has tragically resulted in the deaths of eight individuals, with three fatalities reported in the United States and five in Canada. Health officials made this distressing announcement on Thursday. Both countries have also reported dozens of additional illnesses related to the outbreak. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recorded at least 230 cases across 38 states, with 96 individuals requiring hospitalization since mid-November.
Contaminated Cantaloupe in Canada
Health officials in Canada have confirmed that the tainted cantaloupe was also distributed within the country. As a result, 129 cases have been reported, including 44 hospitalizations. The cantaloupe in question was sold in pre-cut form, packaged in clamshell containers and trays, which were made available in various stores. Given the severity of the situation, the CDC has issued a clear warning to consumers: do not buy, eat, or serve cantaloupe if the source is unknown.
Recalls and Ongoing Investigation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has responded to the outbreak by adding new recalls for both whole and pre-cut fruit to an expanding list. Last week, Cut Fruit Express initiated a recall of cantaloupe chunks and fruit mixes containing cantaloupe. On Tuesday, TGD Cuts, LLC followed suit with a recall of specific fresh fruit cup, clamshell, and tray products that contained cantaloupe from the company TruFresh. Health officials are continuing their investigation to ascertain whether additional products are connected to the illnesses.
Salmonella can cause severe illness, posing a significant risk to vulnerable populations such as young children, individuals over the age of 65, and those with weakened immune systems. Vigilance in avoiding potentially contaminated food is crucial to prevent further cases of illness or fatalities.
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