July 10, 2020

Caito Melon Salmonella Number 7 in Top Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2019

The number 7 food poisoning outbreak of 2019 was the Caito melon Salmonella Carrau outbreak that sickened at least 137 people in 10 states. Thirty-eight people were hospitalized because they were so sick. No deaths were reported in this multistate outbreak.

Caito Melon Salmonella Number 7 in Top Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2019

 

The case count by state was: Alabama (1), Iowa (2), Illinois (7), Indiana (26), Kentucky (26), Michigan (22), Minnesota (3), Missouri (8), Ohio (42), and Wisconsin (1). Illnesses started on March 3, 2019, and the last illness was reported on May 1, 2019. The patient age range was from less than one year to 98.

Of 104 people who gave information about their illness to government officials, 38, or 37%, were hospitalized. That is almost double the normal rate of hospitalization for a Salmonella outbreak, which is about 20%.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that pre cut melons supplied by Caito Foods LLC were the likely source of this outbreak. Caito Foods recalled pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and pre-cut fruit medley products containing one of these melons that was produced at the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 12, 2019. At the time of the recall, 93 people in 9 states were ill.

Of 83 people who were interviewed by government investigators, 64% said they ate pre cut melons purchased at grocery stores before they got sick. Caito Foods supplied pre-cut melons to those stores where patients said they shopped.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Officials used the PulseNet system to identify patients who were part of this outbreak. Whole genome sequencing used by officials showed that isolates from ill people were closely related genetically. That means that people sickened in this outbreak were more likely to share a common source of infection.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection typically include a fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Most people feel sick 12 to 72 hours after eating food contaminated with this pathogen. Even after you recover fully from this infection, your risk for developing complications like Reiter’s syndrome, which can cause reactive arthritis, and high blood pressure increase.

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