The salmonella outbreak involving pre-cut melon has a high hospitalization rate and concerns pre-cut melon sold by several of the nation's high-volume grocers, but the issue looks relatively confined geographically.
What's known so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
▪ Food involved: Pre-cut watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and fresh-cut mixed fruit containing any one of these melons. They were produced by Caito Foods in Indianapolis from April 17 through Thursday.
▪ Stores selling the pre-cut melon (with brand name if applicable): Walmart (Freshness Guaranteed); Whole Foods/Amazon (Whole Foods Market); Costco (Garden Highway); Kroger (generic label distributed by Renaissance Food Group); Walgreens (Delish); Trader Joe's (Trader Joe's); Jay C; Payless; Owen’s; and Sprouts (Sprouts Farmers Market). The melon products have been recalled. If you have them in your refrigerator, toss them in the trash or return them to the store for a refund. Consumers with questions about the recall can call 844-467-7278, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Eastern time, Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.
▪ States getting the pre-cut melon: North Carolina, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.
▪ States with people sickened: Michigan (32), Indiana (11), Missouri (10), Illinois (six) and Ohio (one).
▪ Number of people sickened and hospitalized: The CDC reports 60 people infected, 31 of which have been hospitalized, 51.7 percent. No salmonella outbreak in the last four years has hospitalized over 50 percent. According to the CDC, the yearly average hospitalization rate for salmonella is 1.9 percent.
The FDA reports the youngest infected is an infant and the oldest is 97 years old.
"Most persons infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment," the CDC says. "However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized."