U.S. food safety regulators are warning the public about a rising salmonella epidemic and are advising against eating certain cantaloupe items, including some fruit cups, because of the potential for illness.
The number of confirmed cases has increased by a factor of three in the two weeks after the FDA and the CDC announced the epidemic. The cantaloupes in question are either the Malichita or Rudy brand.
In an update released Monday, the CDC said 117 individuals across 34 states had contracted the infection. There have been two fatalities and 61 hospitalizations.
The CDC published an alarming warning about the Salmonella epidemic on Black Friday.
An official Canadian government agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, acknowledged that a death has been reported in the United States and that “63 laboratory-confirmed cases” of Salmonella have been reported in Canada.
The problem has also sent 17 people to the hospital in Canada.
The following cantaloupe brands and varieties have been recalled:
– “Vinyard” pre-cut cantaloupes
– “ALDI” whole cantaloupes
-“RaceTrac” pre-cut cantaloupes
-“Rudy” whole cantaloupes
– “Product of Mexico/produit due Mexique” labels
Both entire cantaloupe varieties, “Malichita” and “Rudy,” were singled out by the Canadian authorities as “the probable cause of the epidemic.”
All of the cantaloupes were imported from Mexico. Food handlers, animals, or irrigation pollution are most likely the source of the disease.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache are among the most frequent symptoms of a Salmonella infection.
The CDC reports that symptoms may appear as early as six hours after infection and can last anywhere from four days to a week.
Rinse everything that came into contact with the cantaloupe, including dishes and pots, with hot, soapy water.
Salmonella is more likely to cause severe illness in those with compromised immune systems, younger children, and adults 65 and older. A total of fourteen patients in this epidemic lived in nursing homes, and seven of the afflicted youngsters had previously frequented daycares.