January 16, 2018

FDA Tests Confirm Cantaloupe From Indiana Farm Is An Outbreak Source

Lab tests on samples of cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana confirm that the melons are a source of a deadly Salmonella outbreak that has killed two people and sickened 176 others in 21 states, according to the latest information from the U.S. Food and Dug Administration (FDA). The DNA fingerprint of the Salmonella Typhimurium found in the cantaloupe samples is a genetic match to the one found in victims of the outbreak, results of the lab test show. The FDA’s sampling and testing of the cantaloupe were conducted in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health, the agency said.

Confirmation that the cantaloupe is a source of the outbreak comes one week after the farm in southwestern Indiana announced a recall of melons which have sickened a total of 178 people. By state, the tally of confirmed cases is as follows: Alabama (13), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (3), Illinois (21), Indiana (18), Iowa (7), Kentucky (56), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (5), Missouri (12), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4). Sixty two people have been hospitalized, the two people who died were from Kentucky.

Prior to the recall, Chamberlain Farms had withdrawn cantaloupe from the market and stopped distribution for the rest of the growing season based on preliminary information from the FDA. The formal recall was announced to speed removal of the product from the market and raise public awareness, the agency said. A retail distribution list has not been released. However, Kroger, Marsh, Meijer, Schnucks and Walmart have all removed cantaloupe from their store shelves.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea which usually set in six to 72 hours after exposure and last up to seven days. Health officials recommend that anyone who develops these symptoms should see a health care provider.

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