A voluntary recall by Caito Foods including pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fruit medley products is underway as the company reports a possible salmonella contamination, CNN reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration made the announcement on Friday.
So far, 93 suspected salmonella cases have been reported. The outbreak now spans a total of nine states: Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. While there are no known deaths as a result of the contamination, 23 individuals have been hospitalized so far.
According to the FDA, Caito Foods has suspended the production and distribution of the problem products while they work with the FDA to identify and mitigate the source of the problem.
Affected products were sold in clamshell containers made of clear plastic. They were sold under a variety of brandname labels, including Amazon, Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, Walmart, and Trader Joe’s. A complete list of all recalled products is posted at FDA.gov.
“Because it is possible that products could still be on store shelves, this recall extends to both retailers and consumers,” the FDA said in a statement. “Consumers should not consume the product and should promptly dispose of any remaining product.”
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 13, 2019
According to CNN, salmonella is responsible for as many as 1 million cases of food-related illnesses in the United States each year. Symptoms typically begin within 72 hours of ingesting the bacteria and can last up to seven days. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. While it is true that most patients will recover on their own without medical treatment, those who experience severe diarrhea may need to be hospitalized. In severe cases in which patients are not properly treated, death can result.
“Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis,” the FDA says in their posting regarding the outbreak.
The investigation into this particular outbreak is ongoing and Caito Foods has not commented on the matter.
Retailers and wholesalers have been instructed to review their inventories and shelves to confirm that none of the affected products are present or available for purchase by consumers or in inventories.
Consumers seeking information may call (844) 467-7278 Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT and Saturday and Sunday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT.