Salmonella-Tainted Fruit Recall Expands, Sickness Reaches Maryland
Patch manager Daniel Hampton wrote this story.
ACROSS AMERICA — Federal regulators have expanded a recall of fruit contaminated with salmonella that has left two people dead and 45 hospitalized.
As Patch previously reported, cantaloupe and melons sold in several states were recalled Nov. 17 due to salmonella concerns. The cantaloupes were grown by Sofia Produce in Arizona, and melons were sold under the name Trufresh.
The recall includes all sizes of fresh cantaloupes packaged in cardboard containers labeled with the Malichita label, sold between Oct. 16 and Oct. 23.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed a map of 32 states where 99 people lived who were sickened by the fruit.
Number of Sickened People
7-13 people: Minnesota, Arizona, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin
4-5 people: Nebraska, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois
1-3 people: Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina.
One person was reported sick in Maryland.
The salmonella outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses, the CDC said, and the true number of sick people is likely much higher than the number reported.
"This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella," the CDC wrote on its website.
Additionally, people who have fallen ill recently may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak, federal health officials said.
Canada is also investigating the outbreak and has linked the illness in that country with the same strain of Salmonella to cantaloupes.
The illnesses started Oct. 17-Nov. 10. Of 77 people with information available, 45 were hospitalized. Two people died who were from Minnesota.
Salmonella patients ranged in age from babies to 100 years old, with the median age at 62 years old. 60 percent were male, and 88 percent were white.
"State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick," the CDC said.
Of the 33 people interviewed, 29 said they ate cantaloupe.
On Wednesday, more recalls for whole and pre-cut cantaloupes were issued, with Trufresh expanding its recall to include all Malichita brand and Rudy brand whole cantaloupes. Crown Jewels recalled Malichita brand whole cantaloupes. CF Dallas recalled pre-cut fruit products containing recalled cantaloupes.
The CDC recommended people not to eat, sell, or serve recalled fruit.
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