Nothing feels more summery than biting into a crispy, juicy slice of cantaloupe — which is why this news is seriously upsetting. Precut melon has been recalled in eight states after dozens of people became ill, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.
At least 60 people are sick and 31 have been hospitalized after consuming the salmonella-tainted melon, according to the CDC. The recall applies only to watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and assorted fruit medlies containing melon that were processed in the Caito Foods facility in Indiana. This melon was sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers in eight states: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. The affected melon was available at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon. An investigation into whether the melon was sold at any other stores is ongoing.
The CDC recommends searching your fridge for the recalled melon and tossing it or returning it to the store if you can get a refund. If you’re not sure where your precut melon came from, just toss it. As much as you’ll miss the satisfying cruch, you won’t like making the bathroom your home for the next few days. Why not try an apple instead?
What is salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever, and cramps. Symptoms normally develop within 12 to 72 hours, and they can last between four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, but in rare cases of extreme diarrhea, a patient will need to be hospitalized. This happens because the salmonella infection may have spread to the bloodstream, thereby affecting other organs. If this happens, salmonella poisoning can result in death unless a patient receives antibiotics as soon as possible. Children under the age of five, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems are most likely to have this severe form of salmonella infection.
Long-term consequences of salmonella infections include disrupted bowel habits. Most of the time, these issues sort themselves out soon after a person recovers from the infection, but for some it may take months. There’s also a chance that you may develop joint pain called reactive arthritis. This can go on for months and even years, before eventually becoming chronic arthritis, which is not easy to treat.