June 15, 2024

Deadly Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak in Canada Sickens 164

The deadly cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak in Canada has now sickened at least 164 people in that country, according to Public Health Canada. Sixty-one of those people have been hospitalized, and seven deaths have been reported. Those same cantaloupes have sickened at least 302 people in the United States, with four deaths; three in Minnesota and one in Oregon.

Deadly Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak in Canada Sickens 164

The patients are sick with three strains of Salmonella: Soahanina, Sundsvall, and Oranienburg. The case count by provinces as of December 22, 2023  is British Columbia (18), Alberta (4), Ontario (21), Quebec (111), Prince Edward Island (2), New Brunswick (2), Nova Scotia (4) and Newfoundland and Labrador (2). The patient age range is from 0 to 100 years of age. And illness onset ranges from mid-October to early December 2023. More illnesses are under investigation and may be confirmed and added to this case count.

Many food recall warnings have been issued in Canada and in the United States, as well as secondary recalls for products made with those cantaloupes. The brands of cantaloupe that are recalled are Malichita and Rudy.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency found the outbreak strains of Salmonella that made people sick in samples of the recalled Malichita cantaloupes. The outbreak in the United States is caused by the same genetic strain.

Do not serve, sell, use, distribute, or eat Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupes, or any products made with them. If you can’t identify the brand of cantaloupe, discard it. Clean and sanitize all utensils, surfaces, and equ9iment that may have come into contact with the cantaloupe.

Symptoms of a Salmonella food poisoning infection usually start a few hours to three days after infection. People are usually sick for about a week. Most people suffer from fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, abdominal pain and cramps, headache, and diarrhea that may be bloody. This illness can be spread person-to-person, and through contact with contaminated surfaces.

People who are more at risk for serious complications from this type of infection are older adults, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic illnesses and weakened immune systems.

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