A multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melon has sickened 60 people in five Midwestern states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. Six people are sick in Illinois, 11 in Indiana, 32 in Michigan, 10 in Missouri and one in Ohio.
Thirty-one people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, the CDC said, and no deaths have been reported.
Diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps are the symptoms of salmonella infection. Signs of illness typically occur within 12 to 72 hours and last for four to seven days.
The individuals who became ill said they ate pre-cut cantaloupe, watermelon or a fruit salad mix that contained melon. Most bought their pre-cut melon at Walmart or Kroger stores.
On Thursday, Walmart, Kroger, Jay C and Payless stores in the affected states removed pre-cut melon products linked to the outbreak, the CDC said in announcing the outbreak.
The US Food and Drug Administration, which is investigating this outbreak alongside the CDC, is working to identify a supplier of pre-cut melon to stores where ill people shopped.
Consumers who purchased pre-cut melon from Walmart stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri or Ohio, should not eat it and are advised to throw it away, the CDC recommends. Pre-cut melon purchased at Kroger, Jay C or Payless stores in Indiana or Michigan should also be thrown away.
In addition, consumers who do not remember what store their pre-cut melon was purchased from should also discard it without consuming it.
This advice from the CDC does not apply to whole melons. It only applies to pre-cut melon and fruit salad mixes containing melon.
The CDC estimates salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the US every year.
Most people recover from a salmonella infection without treatment. However, for some, the diarrhea may be so severe that hospitalization is necessary. In rare cases, an infection can lead to death unless a patient receives prompt treatment with antibiotics.