Kentucky has 16 confirmed cases of salmonella from pre-cut melons; health officials say you should throw it all out

Health officials are advising Kentuckians to throw away all of their pre-cut cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew, since 16 cases of salmonella have been linked to these products.

The Kentucky Department of Public Health advises that all pre-cut melon be thrown out because the label may not clearly indicate that the product came from Caito Foods from Indianapolis, which distributed the fruit. The products have been sold under several brands and labels.

Caito issued a voluntary recall of these pre-cut melons April 12 in 16 states, including Kentucky. The recall also advises stores to quit selling these products. The recall does not include whole melons.

Salmonella Carrau is a bacteria that makes people sick. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure and include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Children under 5, adults older than 65 and those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of being severely affected. The release notes that most adults recover with antibiotics.
These infections are part of a nine-state salmonella outbreak that have all been linked to the pre-cut fruit. So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreports that 93 people have been infected with the disease and 23 people have been hospitalized because of it. No deaths have been reported. Most of the sick have been adults over 50.

“Exposure to salmonella bacteria can be debilitating and potentially life-threatening, especially for small children and individuals with weakened immune systems,” Dr. Jeff Howard, the state’s public-health commissioner, said in a news release. “Anyone experiencing signs or symptoms of illness should seek medical care and clinicians should be aware of this ongoing outbreak to ensure suspected cases receive testing and investigative follow-up.”

The news release notes that salmonella infection is an extremely common infection in the Kentucky so lab testing is needed to confirm if an illness is linked to this outbreak.

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