August 22, 2019

CDC Says Caito Precut Melon Salmonella Outbreak is Over

The CDC says that the Caito Precut Melon Salmonella Carrau outbreak is over, after sickening 137 people in 10 states. Thirty-eight people have been hospitalized. This last outbreak notice recognizes an increase of 20 cases since the last update in mid-April 2019. The case count by state is: 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. Most of the patients in this outbreak are female. Since these products were recalled in April and are long past their shelf life, there should not be many more cases. Officials used PulseNet, the national sub typing network of labs that collect and store bacterial … [Read more...]

FDA Updates Caito Foods Salmonella Carrau Melon Outbreak

The FDA has updated the Caito Foods Salmonella Carrau melon outbreak. The latest numbers are 137 people sick in 10 states. Thirty-eight people, or  28%,  have been hospitalized because they are so ill, which is a high number for a typical Salmonella outbreak. Usually only 20% of patients are hospitalized when they are sickened with this pathogen. Caito Foods recalled many different types of cut melon products, including Melon Mix, Honeydew Chunks, Cantaloupe Spears, Fruit Burst, Fruit Snack Tray, Watermelon Spear, and Seasonal Fruit Salad among others, on April 12, 2019. Some of these products were sold at Kroger, Spartan Nash, Target, Walmart, and Amazon/Whole Foods locations. It is not likely that any of these products are still in consumer's homes, because the shelf life of … [Read more...]

Will Two Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Tuna and Melons Grow?

There are currently two Salmonella outbreaks that have sickened at least 130 people in the U.S.: one is linked to precut melons supplied by Caito Foods, and the other to raw ground frozen tuna supplied by JK Fish and imported by Jensen Tuna. The latest updates for these outbreaks were released in April 2019. Will these Salmonella outbreaks grow? It takes two to four weeks from the time a person eats contaminated food, starts feeling sick, sees their doctor, is tested, and gets the results. The illness is then reported to the government, and isolates from that patient may be sent to PulseNet, the national sub typing network of public health laboratories. The only new information provided in 3-1/2 weeks in the raw tuna outbreak was that the FDA has added JK Fish of Vietnam to an … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs in on Caito Foods Precut Melon Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has released information about its investigation into the Caito Foods precut melon Salmonella outbreak that has now sickened at least 117 people in 32 states. The states where ill people live are Alabama, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Thirty-two people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. Officials are asking that anyone who has purchased precut melon make sure that it is not prepared by Caito Foods. These products include honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, and products made with those melons, including fruit mix, fruit platters, and fruit salads. Caito Foods recalled their products on April 12, 2019 and has temporarily stopped production while the CDC and state health departments investigate. The … [Read more...]

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. 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 … [Read more...]

Lawyer Gives Advice About Long History of Prepared Produce Outbreaks

The Salmonella Carrau outbreak that is linked to precut melon products sold at Target, Walmart, Kroger, and other stores has prompted questions about prepared produce. And unfortunately, the history of prepared produce outbreaks is long. Any food can be contaminated with pathogens. The fruits and vegetables can pick up bacteria in the fields, during harvest, during transport, and during processing. While people don't naturally think of produce as a cause of outbreaks, Salmonella in produce is in the top ten pathogen-food combinations that cause food poisoning. And in our modern food production and distribution system, produce that is harvested around the world is brought to huge central processing centers. The fruits and vegetables are cleaned and cut and packaged together. That … [Read more...]

Salmonella Carrau Melon Outbreak: How To Prepare Safe Melons

Ever since the huge and deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that was linked to whole melons produced by Jensen Farms in Colorado, I have been wary of cantaloupes, honeydew, and watermelon. While I did sometimes purchase precut melons, that ended when a Salmonella outbreak linked to precut melons sickened dozens in 2018. The current Salmonella Carrau melon outbreak has increased my resolve. How do you prepare safe melons in this day and age? The problem with this fruit is that the surface of melons is the perfect space for bacteria to grab onto and hold on. Melons, especially cantaloupe, have deep crenelations and a webbed, rough surface. Bacteria love to hide in those nooks and crannies. Even worse, some pathogens can produce a biofilm that covers bacterial colonies, protecting … [Read more...]

Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan Hard Hit by Precut Melon Salmonella Outbreak

People in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan have been hard hit by the melon Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 93 people in 9 states. The case count in each state is: Ohio (27), Indiana (18), Kentucky (16), and Michigan (19). The other states involved include Alabama (1), Illinois (5), Minnesota (3), Missouri (3), and Wisconsin (1). The pathogen that has sickened people, Salmonella Carrau, is relatively rare in the United States. Officials are using the PulseNet system to find people who may be part of this outbreak, and more may be identified. PulseNet identified the outbreak on April 2, 2019. It makes sense that most of the victims are in those states, since the outbreak has been linked by the CDC and FDA to precut melons that were produced and … [Read more...]

Salmonella Contaminated Precut Melons Sold at Target, Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joes, Amazon/Whole Foods

The Salmonella Carrau outbreak linked to precut melons produced by Caito Foods has sickened at least 93 people. The Salmonella contaminated precut melons were sold at Kroger, Target, Trader Joes, Amazon/Whole Foods, Walmart stores, and independent grocery stores in several states under several different brand names. Caito Foods recalled precut melons in many different combinations and iterations on April 12, 2019, the day the outbreak was announced by the FDA and CDC. 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. The outbreak states line up with where the melon was available: people are sick in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, … [Read more...]

History of Melon Outbreaks Is Long and Deadly

The Salmonella Carrau outbreak just announced by the CDC that is linked to precut melons produced by Caito Foods has sickened at least 93 people. This is not the first time that melons have caused food poisoning outbreaks in the United States. In fact, the history of melon outbreaks is long. Since 1985, there have been 1,520 illnesses, 297 hospitalizations, and 36 deaths linked to contaminated melon. Most of these outbreaks were linked to cantaloupes. One of the big problems with contamination on ready-to-eat foods is that there is no "kill step" before the food is eaten. That means the consumer does not heat the product, which would destroy pathogens. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes contamination on ready-to-eat foods, but no such law exists for … [Read more...]

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