An Indianapolis-based company has issued a recall for melon products sold in 16 states after being linked to a salmonella outbreak.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that the recall includes cut watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe produced by Caito Foods LLC. The fruit has been sold under various brands or labels at Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe's, Target and Whole Foods.
The affected states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
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"In Illinois, five cases have been reported in the north-eastern and eastern part of the state," released the Illinois Department of Public Health in a statement. "Cases in Illinois have reported eating melon and becoming ill from mid- to late-March. IDPH is working with local health departments to identify additional cases and to perform laboratory testing."
Health officials advise consumers to check packaging to determine if the melon was distributed by Caito Foods, and, if so, not to eat it. They advise stores to pull the products from shelves.
Authorities say 93 people have been sickened, 23 of whom were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Salmonella Carrau is described as rare. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
Health experts advise residents to check their refrigerator and freezer for recalled products and throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Other tips include:
• Do not eat recalled pre-cut melon products. Even if you do not develop symptoms after eating the recalled melon, you should still throw it away.
• If you cannot determine if pre-cut melon you purchased was produced by Caito Foods, LLC, do not eat it and throw it away.
• Retailers and restaurants should not sell or serve recalled pre-cut melon products supplied by Caito Foods, LLC.
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