July 23, 2024

Deadly Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak Cases Now at 117

The deadly cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak has now sickened at least 117 people in 34 states, with 61 people hospitalized and two deaths in Minnesota, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s an increase of 18 new cases, 16 new hospitalizations, and two new states since the last update was issued six days ago.

Deadly Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak Cases Now at 117

The case count by state is: Alaska (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (7), California (1), Colorado (3), Georgia (3), Iowa (5), Illinois (6), Indiana (2), Kansas (1), Kentucky (5), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (14), Missouri (9), Mississippi (1), North Carolina (2), Nebraska (4), New Jersey (3), Nevada (2), New York (2), Ohio (8), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (3),Tennessee (4), Texas (5), Utah (3), Virginia (2), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (10). Sixty one people are hospitalized. And two people who lived in Minnesota have died.

The patient age range is from less than one to 100. Illness onset dates range from October 1, 2023 to November 14, 2023. Of 103 people who gave information to investigators, 61 have been hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 59%, which is almost three times the rate for a typical Salmonella outbreak. This may be because this strain, Salmonella Sundsvaar, is rare and can cause more serious illness.

Since the last update, a second strain of Salmonella, Salmonella Oranienburg, has been added to the outbreak investigation. Two U.S. patients are sick with this strain. This strain is also part of the serovars making people sick in Canada.

Minnesota Has More Cases in This Deadly Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak

Amy Barrett, Communications Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, told Food Poisoning Bulletin that the actual number of patients in Minnesota is 15, instead of the 14 the CDC has reported because of time lag. Eight patients have been hospitalized in that state, and there are two deaths. The patient age range in Minnesota mirrors the national age range and is one year to 91 years. According to the Star Tribune, the people who died lived in the Twin Cities and central Minnesota. The people who died were in the younger and older parts of the patient age range.

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Food Safety Attorney and Food Poisoning Bulletin Publisher Eric Hageman

Noted Minnesota food safety lawyer Eric Hageman, who has successfully represented many clients in Salmonella lawsuits and wrongful death cases, said, “It is very alarming how fast this outbreak is growing. Since the cantaloupe are no longer available for people to buy, the case count should be slowing down. The hospitalization percentage is also alarming.”

One of the issues is the ages and health of some of the patients. The CDC says that fourteen people in this outbreak lived at long term care facilities when they got sick. Of six interviewed, four said they ate cantaloupe. And seven children in the outbreak attended childcare centers before they got sick. All six did or may have eaten cantaloupe.

Those patients belong to the high risk group for serious complications from foodborne illness. The elderly, the very young, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to get very sick and require hospitalization when they contract a foodborne illness infection.

More Recalls Issued

There have been many recalls of cantaloupe in relation to this outbreak. Three more recalls have been announced since the last update. Kwik Trip recalled precut cantaloupe and fruit mixes on November 17, 2023. On November 28, Bix Produce recalled precut fruit cups. And on November 29, GHGA recalled precut cantaloupe products sold at Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe’s stores.

Please check your home to see if you have any of these recalled products. And if you froze the fruit for later use, throw that away. Discard it if you aren’t sure whether or not you bought these items. Clean your refrigerator and freezer after discarding the fruit.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection begin 12 hours to three days after infection, although it may take a week for symptoms to appear. Most people suffer from headache, chills, fever, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody.

If you do get sick after eating cantaloupe, see your doctor. You may be part of this deadly cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a food poisoning infection, please contact our experienced Minnesota attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm, which is located in Minneapolis, represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food processors, and families in wrongful death cases.

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