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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cantaloupes

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Bedram Bararpour5 years ago

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working together to investigate a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak in multiple states that has infected 141 people, including one in Texas.

Indiana Cantaloupes the Likely Source

An initial investigation is reporting that cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana are the likely source, and the farm thought to be responsible has contacted its distributors and is withdrawing its cantaloupes from the market. The farm has agreed to stop its distribution of cantaloupes for the rest of the growing season as well. Investigations are continuing to try to find the source of the contaminated cantaloupes.

The CDC recommends that anyone who has purchased cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana should get rid of them immediately, and if consumers are unsure of the origin of their cantaloupe, they should check the sticker on the fruit. If there is no sticker, it is advised that the owner either try to find out the source or throw out the cantaloupe just to be safe.

2 Reported Dead

Among the 141 known to be infected, 2 have been reported dead in Kentucky. From the available information, illness onset dates range from July 27, 2012 to August 4, 2012 and around 48% of the infected have been hospitalized. Early results show that commonly prescribed antibiotics do work effectively against this particular strain of Salmonella.

More information about the outbreak, including the number of people affected in each state, can be accessed here.

Criticism of the Warning

According to USA Today, some food safety advocates are requesting that the name of the farm be released, along with stores that bought cantaloupes from the farm. They believe that this information is not being released to protect those businesses. Health officials, however, say they are not releasing the name of the farm due to the fact that the investigation is still ongoing and that the recall was not mandated.

Salmonella Information and Symptoms

Information below provided by the CDC.

  • Most Salmonella infections include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
  • These symptoms show up 12 to 72 hours after infection.
  • The infection usually lasts between 4 and 7 days and most people recover without treatment.
  • If diarrhea is severe enough, some people have to be hospitalized. These patients face the risk of the infection spreading from their intestines to the blood stream, and then other body sites. This can cause death if not treated with antibiotics.
  • The elderly, infants, and people with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to have a serious infection.
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