Major Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cut Melon
A major, multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melon has sickened 60 people in five states, mostly in the Midwest. According to a CNN report, six people have been sickened in Illinois, 11 in Indiana, 32 in Michigan, 10 in Missouri and one in Ohio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 31 people have been hospitalized as a result of this outbreak and no fatalities have been reported yet.
Identifying Contaminated Melon
Those who became ill said they ate pre-cut cantaloupe, watermelon or a fruit salad mix that contained melon. Most purchased the contaminated melon at Wal-Mart or Kroger stores. These and other affected stores have already removed the tainted melon from their store shelves, according to the CDC, which along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is trying to determine the supplier of the pre-cut melon to stores where ill people shopped.
Consumers who have purchased the pre-cut melon in any of the Midwestern states should not eat it and are advised to throw it away. In addition consumers who don’t remember in which store their bought their pre-cut melon in these regions should also discard it without consuming. This alert does not apply to whole melons, only pre-cut and packaged ones.
How Salmonella Affects People
The CDC estimates that salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses in the United States each year, 450 deaths, and 23,000 hospitalizations. Some common symptoms of salmonella poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headaches and blood in the stool. A majority of people recover from a salmonella infection without treatment. However, for some, the diarrhea might be so severe that hospitalization may be necessary. In some cases, a severe infection could lead to death unless a patient receives treatment right away with antibiotics.
If you have suffered salmonella poisoning, it is important that you receive medical attention right away. If you have any of the tainted food remaining, isolate it and preserve it so it can be tested in a laboratory for the presence of pathogens. Report your illness to the local healthcare agency, which tracks these types of outbreaks. Contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who will be able to help you secure compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, and pain and suffering.