Salmonella in cantaloupes sickens dozens in 15 states, U.S. health officials say

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U.S. health officials are warning consumers not to eat certain whole and cut cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit products linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning.

At least 43 people in 15 states have been infected in the outbreak announced Friday, including 17 people who were hospitalized. Several brands of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit have been recalled. They include Malichita brand whole cantaloupe, Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupe and ALDI whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products.

Consumers who have the products in their homes should throw them away.

The products were sold between Oct. 16 and Nov. 10 and recalled earlier this month. Investigators are working to identify any additional cantaloupe products that may be contaminated. Officials in Canada are investigating an outbreak involving the same strain of salmonella, which they detected in a sample of Malichita brand cantaloupe.

The number of people sickened in the outbreak is likely much higher than those reported and the outbreak may not be limited to states with known illnesses. It typically takes three to four weeks to determine whether a sick person is part of an outbreak.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps within six hour to six days after consuming food contaminated with the bacteria. Illnesses typically last four to seven days. Vulnerable people, including children, people older than 65 and those with weakened immune systems may develop severe illnesses that require medical care or hospitalization.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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