Kentucky Residents Affected by National Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pre-Cut Melon
The Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that 16 Kentuckians have tested positive with a strain of Salmonella Carrau that has been linked by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pre-cut melon including cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew. DPH is advising that the public should discard any pre-cut melon or fruit salads that contain pre-cut melon.
Caito Foods from Indianapolis, IN distributed the melon products. Caito Foods issued a recall notice on Friday, April 12 for all pre-cut melon products distributed in the U.S. The label may not clearly indicate that the melon product is from Caito Foods so consumers should discard and not purchase, eat, sell or serve any pre-cut melon products at this time. This recall does not include whole melons. The FDA’s website has a list of stores and states where the recalled products were sold – https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm635948.htm.
Cases have been diagnosed in several states. No deaths have been reported in this outbreak, however, there is a higher than normal hospitalization rate for Salmonella infection. For more information on this investigation, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/Carrau-04-19/index.html.
Healthcare providers across the state are being notified of the outbreak and are being advised to be alert for patients experiencing acute diarrheal illness, which could be associated with Salmonella infection. Appropriate testing and investigative work will need to be completed to determine which cases are outbreak-associated. Salmonella infection is an extremely common infection in the Kentucky so lab testing is needed to confirm if an illness is linked to this outbreak.
“Exposure to Salmonella bacteria can be debilitating and potentially life-threatening, especially for small children and individuals with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Jeff Howard, DPH commissioner. “Anyone experiencing signs or symptoms of illness should seek medical care and clinicians should be aware of this ongoing outbreak to ensure suspected cases receive testing and investigative follow-up. All Salmonella cases should be reported to the local health department.”
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. These symptoms usually develop 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4-7 days and most healthy individuals recover without antibiotic treatment. State health officials are working with staff at local health departments in the counties with suspected or confirmed cases.
If you believe you have experienced symptoms of illness that could be associated with this Salmonella outbreak, please consult your health care provider or your local health department.