Cantaloupe melons grown in southwestern Indiana are being blamed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a salmonella poisoning outbreak that has touched lives in 20 states. This news comes just weeks after the Food & Drug Administration found listeria bacteria in cantaloupes and honeydews grown in North Carolina.
At least 31 people have been hospitalized in connection with infections caused by salmonella Typhimurium tied to contaminated melons, the Centers for Disease Control reported late Friday. Illnesses have been reported from July 7 to Aug. 4, although those that occurred after July 26 may not be included yet.
Investigators said cantaloupes grown in the southwestern Indiana region were the likely source of the outbreak. Kentucky laboratory officials isolated the outbreak strain from two melons collected at a retail location in that state. The deaths were reported in Kentucky.
Officials are continuing to investigate whether other types of melons may also be linked to the outbreak, the CDC said. Officials with the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration did not identify an Indiana farm where the suspect cantaloupes were grown, the distributors who handled them or the stores where the melons were sold. However, they said the farm in question has agreed to suspend sales for the rest of the growing season.
Image: Cantaloupe melon, via Shutterstock