Even though fresh-cut watermelon is a staple on every good summer menu, it might be worth holding off on that melon purchase for another few days — or at least double-checking to see which store it's from.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is currently investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide that has been traced to cut watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, as well as a medley of cut fruit including those melons, that were produced by Caito Foods in Indianapolis, Indiana. So far, 60 people have reportedly fallen ill after eating the affected melons, and 31 of them have been hospitalized.
The CDC reports that the products — which have since been recalled by Caito Foods — were distributed to the following eight states:
- North Carolina
They were sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers at a number of retailers, including Kroger, Trader Joe's, Walgreens, Walmart and Whole Foods. (The full list of retailers is available on the CDC's website).
Kroger has removed all pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe and mixed melon blends from its stores in Indiana and Michigan, as a probably-too-cautious precaution. "Although the reported illness onset ended on May 28 and the shelf life on these products is very limited, out of an abundance of caution Kroger immediately removed these products from its stores and has temporarily suspended shipment of any new products from this supplier," the company said in a statement, according to MLive.
How do you know if you've been infected with Salmonella? Oh, you'll know — usually 12 to 72 hours after you've eaten the offending melon. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. The CDC says that the ill effects usually resolve themselves after four to seven decidedly unpleasant days, and most people do not need to seek medical treatment.
If you think that you might've purchased one of these products, the CDC advises that you either toss it or return it to the store for a refund. If you're not sure where you bought it, it's best to toss that, too. There will be more melon — better melon — before the summer ends.