Tainted Cantaloupe Linked to 2 Deaths as Salmonella Cases Climb

ALDI among retailers recalling fruit due to foodborne illness outbreak
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Cantaloup recall
Cases linked to the Salmonella pathogen prompted recalls of whole fresh cantaloupes including those sold under “Malichita”, “Rudy” and “4050” stickers.

A deadly foodborne illness outbreak has been linked to cantaloupes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that two people have died and nearly 100 people have been sickened by Salmonella stemming from tainted fruit in both whole and pre-cut form.

As of Nov. 24, there have been 99 illnesses, 45 hospitalizations and two deaths tied to this outbreak, across 32 states. The deaths occurred in Minnesota.

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CDC’s first alert went out on Nov. 17, and cases have continued to rise. Accordingly, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued and then expanded a recall of certain products. 

The following products are affected by the recall:

  • Whole cantaloupes with a sticker reading “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the number “4050,” and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique.”
  • Pre-cut cantaloupe under the Vinyard brand, including cubes, melon medleys and fruit medleys, sold in grocery stores in Oklahoma between Oct. 30 and Nov. 30.
  • Whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit from ALDI, sold in stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin with best-by dates between Oct. 27 and Oct. 31. 
  • Whole and pre-cut cantaloupes from the Freshness Guaranteed and RaceTrac brands with a best-buy date between Nov. 7 and Nov. 12, sold in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
  • Whole fresh cantaloupes from Crown Jewels Produce, sold between Oct. 31 and Nov. 9.
  • Fresh-cut fruit products from CF Dallas made with whole cantaloupe subject to a recall of Sofia produce.

The CDC is working to identify other brands and supermarkets that have carried the tainted fruit. During their investigation so far, 88% of consumers who experienced this foodborne illness reported that they ate cantaloupe the week before the got sick. 

In its own alert, the FDA advised retailers, wholesalers, restaurants and consumers to check their freezers and throw away recalled whole and pre-cut cantaloupe.

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