U.S. farm withdraws melons after salmonella crisis

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U.S. farm withdraws melons after salmonella crisis

A farm in southwestern Indiana in the U.S. has recalled all its cantaloupes following a  salmonella outbreak that has infected 141 people, resulting in 31 hospitalizations and two deaths.

Indiana and Kentucky initial state health department investigations tracked down the farm, which has agreed to stop distributing cantaloupes for the rest of the growing season.

The company's name is yet to be released.

Consumers in 20 states across the U.S. were affected and Kentucky was the worst hit with two deaths and a total of 50 people infected, followed by Illinois with 17 cases and Indiana with 13.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had advised retailers and foodservice operators not to sell or serve cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana.

"Many cantaloupes have the growing area identified with a sticker on the fruit. If no sticker is present, consumers should inquire about the source. When in doubt, throw it out," the CDC warned in a press statement.

CDC said it was safe to continue eating cantaloupes which did not originate from southwestern Indiana.

However, FDA press officer Shelley Burgess, advised consumers to be careful and follow food hygiene guidelines.

"People should still wash and scrub the fruit and take all the necessary precautions for safe consumption of fruit."

The FDA and CDC are working closely together to find out more about the cause of the outbreak and said at this point they were unable to name the farm where the outbreak originated

"We are still investigating and checking things out. As soon as we know more we will let people know," said Burgess.

Additional states affected are: Alabama (7), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (17), Iowa (7), Kentucky (50), Michigan (6), Minnesota (3), Missouri (9), Mississippi (2), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (1), and Wisconsin (2).

Related stories: U.S.: apple and melon products recalled due to listeria worries


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