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CDC says pre-cut melon from Indiana is to blame

Tim Nelson
June 11, 2018

There’s no better summertime snack than sliced watermelon. Light and juicy with just the right amount of sweetness, you can practically hear the sound of ocean waves and lawn sprinklers with every refreshing bite. But if you’ve got your hands on some pre-cut meon sourced from Indiana, you’ll definitely want to spit out more than just the seeds.

That’s because the CDC and FDA have traced an emerging salmonella outbreak back to a bad batch of packaged and cut watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and mixed fruits. The culprit seems to be Indianapolis-based Caito Foods, who issued a recall for those products late last week. In addition to Indiana, the tainted fruits have turned up in neighboring states like Michigan (home to 32 of the 60 cases so far according to CDC data), and even farther-flung areas like Georgia.

The company issued a statement over the weekend, describing the recall as “voluntary” and arising out of “an abundance of caution”. In full, the recall covers products shipped to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio between April 17th and June 7th, 2018. Based on the information available, the decision was made to apply the recall to both consumers who’ve purchased the products and be lining the shelves of stores like Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, and Trader Joe’s.

Thankfully no deaths have been tied to this particular salmonella outbreak so far, but the symptoms sure aren’t fun. Healthy individuals are usual fine after a few bad days of fever, diarrhea and cramping, though 31 people have been hospitalized because they’ve eaten some of Caito’s bad melon.

This is far from the only such food scare in recent times. Millions of North Carolina eggs were recalled due to salmonella earlier this year, and for a while no salad seemed safe from the threat of E.coli. This latest incident is proof that whether you’re a fan of the worst ingredient in fruit salad or the quintessential summer treat, no one is safe from salmonella. Unless you get into the habit of cutting up your own watermelon, that is.

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