Salmonella-Tainted Cantaloupes Kill Two and Sicken 141 More

Indiana-grown cantaloupes are being blamed for a salmonella outbreak which has spread across three states.
Salmonella-tainted cantaloupes spread across three states. (Photo: Brian Gordon Green/Getty Images)
Aug 18, 2012· 0 MIN READ
A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades has previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and a medical writer.

On Friday, health officials said that salmonella-infected cantaloupes were to blame for an outbreak of food poisoning. The tainted fruit has so far sickened 141 people and caused two deaths across Indiana, Kentucky and Minnesota, the Washington Post reports.

Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, of Kentucky's Department for Public Health, was quoted in the paper as saying, "Usually the pattern is to see outbreaks in the summer. But we're seeing about double the number of cases this year."

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The cantaloupe in question was grown in Indiana and sold after July 7, but officials reported they were still trying to identify all the distributors and retail outlets selling the infected fruit. As a precaution, they urged people in Indiana and Kentucky to throw out any cantaloupes recently purchased.

Salmonella infections result in flu-like symptoms, including diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Though most recover without treatment, the infection is particularly dangerous for infants, senior citizens, and adults with compromised immune symptoms.

This isn’t the first time cantaloupes have been at the center of a deadly outbreak. Reuters reports that just last year, cantaloupes carrying the toxic bacteria listeria resulted in 30 deaths across 11 states.

Are recent bacterial outbreaks in fruit causing you to rethink it as a “healthy food” option?