The state Department for Public Health announced Monday that 16 Kentuckians had tested positive with a strain of salmonella carrau that has been linked by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to precut melon including cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew.
Caito Foods of Indianapolis distributed the products, the DPH said, adding that the company issued a recall notice on Friday for all precut melon products distributed in the United States. The recall does not include whole melons.
According to the CDC, the products were distributed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The state public health department and the CDC say to discard any packaged melon or fruit salads that contain precut melon. “If you cannot determine if precut melon you purchased was produced by Caito Foods LLC, don’t eat it and throw it away,” the CDC said.
According to the state public health department, health care providers in Kentucky 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.
Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, which develop 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most healthy individuals recover without antibiotic treatment, the state said.
The Department for Public Health advises consumers who believe they have experienced such symptoms, which could be associated with this salmonella outbreak, to consult their health care provider or the local health department.