June 20, 2018
Photo by littleny

60 people are ill and 31 have been hospitalized, and the FDA is actively trying to pinpoint how the outbreak began.

This story originally appeared on by Jaime Ritter and Zee Krstic.

UPDATE: The list of states affected by a massive salmonella-fueled recall of cut melon has ballooned to 23, adding Alabama, California, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee to the list, the Food and Drug Administration reported with a new update on Thursday.

It was previously reported that pre-cut and prepped watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and fruit salads are being pulled from shelves in stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Amazon, and Sprouts Farmers Market within these states. But the FDA has taken the notice one step further by posting a full list of affected locations, alongside their physical address in each state, right here.

The affected distributors (Caito Foods Distribution, Gordon Food Service, and SpartanNash Distribution) have asked customers to throw out any product and the FDA has stopped stores from selling products from these distributors as well.

The melon has caused 60 individuals to fall ill between April 30 and May 28, reported initially during the same time period as the E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak that killed five earlier this year. This is not the only salmonella outbreak that the FDA is currently looking into this month—just this morning, a new recall was announced by the Kellogg company due to a salmonella contamination affecting its Honey Smacks cereal, causing an additional 60 illnesses across 30 different states.

According to the CDC, salmonella kills 450 people each year, with symptoms including severe diarrhea, fever, and abdonminal pain that can occur anywhere from 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there is an outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melon purchased at several popular grocery chains. The outbreak currently affects eight states: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.

According to the CDC, over 60 people have been infected, and 31 have been hospitalized. So far, no one has died.

The pre-cut melon was sold in "clear, plastic clamshell containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen's, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon," according to a statement from the CDC.

The affected melon was distributed by Caito Foods Distribution, Gordon Food Service, and SpartanNash Distribution, and it included pre-cut cantaloupe, watermelon, or a fruit salad mix with melon.

If you believe you have purchased an affected product from these groups, the CDC urges you to throw it away or return them to your place of purchase for a refund.

This investigation is ongoing, and we will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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