Summer was all about watermelon, fruits salads and kicking back in your lawn chair. With the fourth of July coming up, melons on your plate was even more popular. Cookouts with family and friends often lead us to reach for the easiest prep foods in the grocery store.
Salmonella Outbreak from Pre-Cut Melons
There was a melon outbreak on the rise across the US. Over the 10 days, 10 cases of salmonella had been reported after eating pre-cut melon. Since May 28th, when the first victim became ill, there were a total of 70 victims across seven US states. It also took 2 to 4 weeks for a case to be reported to the CDC, so it took a long time to get a final count.
Cases were reported in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. The fruits had come from various stores, including Costco, Jay C, Payless, Owen’s, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Kroger, Wallgreen, Wallmart, Whole Foods and Amazon in plastic clam-shell containers. Contaminated fruits include watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. You could see the current list of affected products on the CDC’s website.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterium that infects your intestines. The most common symptoms are stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Unfortunately, it can take 12-72 hours for you to realize you’ve been infected! In many cases, salmonella comes across much like a bad case of food poisoning.
We still don’t know how the fruits were contaminated, but Salmonella is not fun and it was particularly dangerous to pregnant women, children, older adults and those with a compromised immune system. It was also very possible to get severely dehydrated. So if you were infected, the best thing to do was load up on water (even though it may be the last thing you wanted to do!).
Was Summer Ruined?
If you were sad to see the red watermelon go on the fourth of July, I hope you chose red berries instead. If you were looking for refreshing and perhaps more tropical, summery fruits, pineapples, mangos, and papayas are always a delicious options.