The outbreak is over but authorities are encouraging the public to be cautious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to pre-cut melon earlier this spring, and with barbecue season in full swing consumers are advised to be fully aware of possible health risks.
Caito Foods LLC facility in Indianapolis, Ind. supplied the pre-cut melon which was sold mainly in grocery stores. The contaminated fruit included watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and pre-cut fruit medley products.
As of May 24, 2019, 137 people were infected with Salmonella Carrau, across ten states. Alabama, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin were all involved.
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How did the infection manifest itself? While no one died, almost 40 people were hospitalized with symptoms such as bloody stools, high fevers, persistent unrelenting diarrhea, prolonged vomiting and dehydration. Pre-cut fruit may be tempting as a grab-and-go snack, but this outbreak sure makes bananas in their peel look tasty.
The CDC is encouraging consumers, restaurants and retailers to handle and consume fruit safely. This involves discarding spoiled fruit, washing hands well, storing cut fruit at 40°F or below in a clean container, and washing and sanitizing surfaces used in storing and handling your fruit, as well as engaging in other food safety precautions.
Moral of the story? Grab a watermelon and cut it at home. Tupperware is a great invention that comes in all shapes and sizes.
For more on this outbreak and safe food handling, click here.