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Beware Of Pre-Cut Melons: Turns Out They Might Be Linked To Recent Salmonella Outbreak

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Avoid buying pre-cut melon from Walmart and Kroger stores for the time being, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health agency is currently investigating a salmonella outbreak that’s been linked to the fruit.  ( Steve Buissinne | Pixabay )

There are now 60 reported cases across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio of what's suspected as a salmonella outbreak.

The outbreak has been linked to pre-cut melons sold at Walmart and Kroger stores, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Michigan alone takes 32 cases of the reported 60, says WILX. The outbreak started around the end of April, health officials said. No deaths have been reported thus far.

In addition to pre-cut melons, it's best to avoid fruit salads sold at the aforementioned stores for the time being. Whole melons, however, aren't linked to the outbreak and are still safe to eat, according to the CDC.

Anyone who recently purchased pre-cut melons or any items containing pre-cut melons from Walmart and Kroger stores in the affected states is urged to chuck it in the bin.

Pre-Cut Melon Salmonella Outbreak

On June 8, Caito Foods, LCC recalled fresh-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fresh-cut fruit medley products containing melon from the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. These recalled products were previously distributed in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. The CDC is investigating whether shipments were also made in other states.

Walmart and Kroger stores have removed pre-cut melons from all the stores in the affected states, according to the CDC.

Over a million cases of salmonella are reported annually, resulting in 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths. Food is the main culprit.

Salmonella Symptoms

The infection can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that can last up to a week. Most people are able to recover without treatment, but some people experience severe diarrhea to the point where they need to be hospitalized.

The CDC indicated that there's been an unusually higher number of hospitalizations with this outbreak than what's typically observed. Age groups more likely to develop severe illness include the elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating the source of salmonella, and there may be more recalls as more information becomes available.

"This investigation is moving rapidly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to identify a supplier of pre-cut melon to stores where ill people shopped. CDC's advice to consumers may expand to include other stores where contaminated pre-cut melon was sold," said the CDC.

For now, those pre-cut melons should be avoided, it seems.

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