A nationwide deadly food outbreak that has put 17 Americans in the hospital has been linked to melons.

At least 43 people from 15 states have been diagnosed with salmonella after consuming cantaloupe melons.

Several brands of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit have been recalled: Malichita brand whole cantaloupes, Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupes and ALDI whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products.

US health officials have said that customers who bought those items should go to their doctor if they start experiencing diarrhea, fever, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.

A nationwide salmonella outbreak that has put 17 Americans in the hospital has been linked to melons

A nationwide salmonella outbreak that has put 17 Americans in the hospital has been linked to melons

The above maps shows were at least 43 people from 15 states have been diagnosed with salmonella after consuming cantaloupes

The above maps shows were at least 43 people from 15 states have been diagnosed with salmonella after consuming cantaloupes

The whole cantaloupes might have a sticker that says ‘Malichita’, ‘4050’, and ‘Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique’, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

They were sold in multiple states between October 16 and October 23, 2023

Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupes include cantaloupe cubes, melon medleys, and fruit medleys sold in Oklahoma stores between October 30 and November 10, 2023.

Most of them have a yellow label with ‘Vinyard,’ and some have a red label with ‘Fresh’.

The ALDI products include whole cantaloupes, cantaloupe chunks in clamshell packaging, and pineapple spears in clamshell packaging, with best-by dates between October 27 and October 31, 2023.

They were sold in ALDI stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

All the affected products have been recalled.

The CDC said: ‘The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. 

‘This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes three to four weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.’

The agency urged people not to eat any recalled cantaloupes or other fruit products and to wash items and surfaces that could have touched the recalled fruit with hot, soapy water. 

Some people have no symptoms from salmonella poisoning. However, the illness can sometimes be more severe and lead to hospitalization. 

People with pre-existing medical conditions, weakened immune systems, children under 12 months old and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to serious side effects – or even death.

Salmonella infects more than 1.3 million people every year, leading to 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths annually

Symptoms of infection usually occur within 12 hours to three days after eating contaminated food and include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

In rare circumstances, a salmonella infection can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and causing more severe illness such as infections in the arteries, endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valve) and arthritis.

Officials with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating the outbreak to determine the source and whether additional products are tied to illnesses.

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