California Added to FDA’s List of States That Should Avoid Eating Cut Melon Due to Salmonella

A file photo shows watermelon slices. (Credit: Getty Images)

A file photo shows watermelon slices. (Credit: Getty Images)

Alabama, California, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Tennessee have been added to the list of states where cut melon may be contaminated with salmonella, the US Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. This brings the total number of states to 23.

Cut watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe as well as fruit salads containing these melons have been recalled from stores in these states, including Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, Sprouts Farmers Market, Costco and Whole Foods/Amazon. The FDA has posted a full list of retailers and locations where it believes contaminated melon was sold.

Consumers who have purchased cut melon from these locations should throw it away. In addition, the agency has advised retailers not to serve or sell precut melon products distributed by Caito Foods Distribution, Gordon Food Service or SpartanNash Distribution.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with state health officials to determine the source of the contamination.

According to the CDC, at least 60 people became ill in this outbreak from April 30 to May 28. Those illnesses were reported in five Midwestern states where the outbreak was initially announced.

Although the FDA has expanded the list of states warned about consumption of melon, the CDC has not updated the number of illnesses reported.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain that begins 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. Most people recover in four to seven days.

According to the CDC, salmonella is to blame for 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year in the United States.