CDC: 'Throw away' pre-cut melons after salmonella outbreak

CDC: 'Throw away' pre-cut melons after salmonella outbreak

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting six cases of salmonella that match a multistate outbreak strain. According to reports, MI tops the list with 32 people sickened, followed by IN (11), Missouri (10), and IL (six).

People who ate those pre-cut melon products began falling ill with the salmonella adelaide strain of the bacteria in late April, and hospitalization spiked two weeks later, with patients ranging from an infant to a 97-year-old.

At least 60 people have been sickened and dozens have been hospitalized with salmonella after tainted pre-cut melons were distributed to stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Costco and Whole Foods in several states, including North Carolina, federal officials said.

However, in a statement a Kroger spokesperson said, "Pre-cut melon and pre-made fruit salad with melon sold in Kroger stores in Georgia are not affected by the recent recall by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention".

If you have purchased any fruit that may have been connected with the recall, the CDC is asking that you throw it away immediately.

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Pre-cut melon purchased at Kroger, Jay C or Payless stores in IN and MI.

"The investigation is ongoing to determine if products went to additional stores or states", the CDC wrote Friday.

Salmonellosis or salmonella is a bacterial infection that can be contracted through exposure to undercooked animal-based foods, such as poultry and eggs, and contact with feces from an infected animal or person, according to the CDC. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days; most people recover without any treatment. However, diarrhea for some people may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. Young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to severe illness.

Only pre-cut melon is affected by the recall.

So far only pre-cut melons have been linked, but it's important to remember food safety measures if you buy whole melons. Also make sure you've washed your hands and all utensils - knives and cutting boards, and don't let fresh fruits and vegetables come into contact with raw meat.

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