The Food and Drug Administration has issued a recall of cantaloupes from Honduran grower Agropecuaria Montelibano. They have been found to contain salmonella, a bacteria that causes food-borne illness.
Symptoms of salmonella include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Salmonella can be fatal to people with weakened immune systems.
50 people in 16 US states and nine in Canada have become ill after eating the cantaloupes. No deaths have been reported; however, 14 people have been hospitalized. Grocery stores are removing these cantaloupes from their shelves, and if you have one, please discard it immediately.
To reduce the risk of contracting salmonella from cantaloupes it is recommended that you:
- Purchase cantaloupes that are not bruised or damaged.
- Wash your hands with hot, soapy water before or after handling fresh cantaloupes.
- Scrub whole cantaloupes by using a clean produce brush and cool tap water immediately before eating. The outer layers contain dirt and harmful microorganisms.
- Cut away and discard bruised or damaged areas of the cantaloupe.
- Discard leftover cut cantaloupe if left at room temperature for more than two hours. Avoid the Danger Zone!