Check your fridge.
The Food and Drug Administration has announced a new recall of fresh-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and mixed fruit with those melons in them due to salmonella contamination.
Ninety-three cases of salmonella-related illness traced to the fruit have been reported so far by the Center for Disease Control and the FDA. Twenty-three of those cases led to hospitalization.
The recall was issued voluntarily by Caito Foods. According to the company’s information, these fruits were sold in clear, clamshell containers and trays in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Distributors were Caito Foods, Gordon Food Service, Kroger, and SpartanNash Distribution.
Stores that sold the pre-cut melon and mixed fruit include Kroger, Walmart, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon/Whole Foods. But the fruit may also have been distributed at independent retailers, so compare any pre-cut fruit you suspect with the labels on the FDA’s site. If you can’t tell if your fruit has been contaminated, get rid of it.
Along with generic labeling marked as distributed by Renaissance Food Group and Caito Foods, labels may say the fruit is from Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Freshness Guaranteed, Garden Highway, Open Acres or Boar’s Head Private.
The best buy/sell by dates on the recalled packages range from April 14-19, so don’t buy pre-packaged fruit that lists those or any earlier dates. If you find potentially tainted fruit in your fridge, toss it out or return it to where you purchased it for a refund. Some of the fruit may still be in stores, so watch what you’re purchasing too.
Additionally, you’ll want to clean and sanitize surfaces that may have come into contact with the fruit, such as refrigerator shelves and countertops. Make sure to wash your hands!
Last summer, Caito Foods was involved in another fresh cut fruit recall. Both incidents started at its Indianapolis, Indiana, facility. The earlier recall involved a strain of salmonella called Salmonella Adelaide; this recall involves Salmonella Carrau.
Salmonella is a bacterial infection which typically causes fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea 12-72 hours after infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover on their own, but occasionally it is severe enough to cause hospitalization and/or death.
While most salmonella outbreaks are caused by coming into contact with tainted meat, poultry and eggs, other sources are vegetables and fruit. Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning outbreaks in the country. Salmonella is also the second most common intestinal infection in the U.S. after campylobacter.
Consumers can contact Caito Foods at 844-467-7278 for additional information.