December 8, 2022

Precut Melon Salmonella Carrau Outbreak Sickens 117 in 10 States

The Caito Foods precut melon Salmonella Carrau outbreak has now sickened at least 117 people in 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thirty-two people, or 36%,  have been hospitalized, which is a high percentage for a Salmonella outbreak. That’s an increase of 24 patients in 11 days.  Iowa has been added to the list of states affected by this outbreak.

Precut Melon Salmonella Carrau Outbreak Sickens 117

The case count by state is: Alabama (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (7), Indiana (23), Kentucky (21), Michigan (22), Minnesota (3), Missouri (7), Ohio (31), and Wisconsin (1).  Illness onset dates range from March 4 to April 8, 2019. The patient age range is from less than one to 98 years. More than 70% of patients who have been interviewed said they ate pre-cut melon the week before they got sick.

Of 88 people who gave information to officials, 32, or 36%, have been hospitalized. The typical percentage of patients who need to be hospitalized in a Salmonella outbreak is about 20%. This strain of Salmonella may be more virulent, or the melons could have been contaminated with a lot of the pathogen.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented clients sickened with Salmonella infections, said, “Even when you recover from this infection, there is still a risk that you will develop a serious complication in the future.” Call 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202 for help.

Food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker said, “Hopefully, since the melon products were recalled, the outbreak should start to slow down. No one should get sick just because they bought precut melons from the store.”

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that pre-cut melon supplied by Caito Foods of Indianapolis is the likely source of this outbreak. The investigation began when PulseNet, a national laboratory that collects subtypes of pathogens that make people sick, identified the outbreak. PFGE and WGS showed that isolates from patients in this precut melon Salmonella Carrau outbreak were closely related genetically, meaning that the patients are likely to share a common source of infection. Traceback evidence linked the melon products from Caito to the patients.

On April 12, 20129, Caito Foods recalled pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and pre cut fruit medley products. These products were sold in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, packaged in clear, plastic clamshell containers.

The melon products were sold at Kroger under the Renaissance Food Group label and the Boar’s Head label; at Target under the Garden Highway label; at Trader Joe’s, at Walmart under the Freshness Guaranteed label, and at Amazon/Whole Foods under the Whole Foods Market label.

If you are going to purchase pre cut melons, ask the grocer where the melons came from. If he doesn’t know, do not buy them. Check your fridge to see if you have any of these melon products. If you do, throw them away, and clean your fridge.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, stomach and abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Most people recover without medical treatment.

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