Three salmonella cases in Minnesota linked to multistate outbreak due to cantaloupe
ST. PAUL -- At least three people in Minnesota have become sick because of a multistate outbreak of salmonella associated with cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Health.
Two cantaloupes collected by the Kentucky Department for Public Health have tested positive for salmonella typhimurium of the outbreak strain. In their press release, Kentucky officials did not name the source of the contaminated cantaloupe. However, one farm in southwestern Indiana has initiated a voluntary market withdrawal and has stopped harvest of cantaloupes. State officials had notified the farm that cantaloupe from the farm had tested positive for the type of salmonella causing illness in Minnesota and other states.
The Health Department determined that there have been three cases in Minnesota of infection with salmonella typhimurium. All three individuals reported eating cantaloupe during the week prior to becoming ill between July 18 and 26. Two of the people were older than 70, and one was a child. Two live in the Twin Cities metro area, and one in Greater Minnesota. None of the people were hospitalized, and all have recovered.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is working to identify the distribution of these cantaloupes in Minnesota. When more information becomes available, a list of Minnesota retail outlets that received the cantaloupe will be posted on the department's website, www.mda.state.mn.us.
Until a list is available, consumers should not eat cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana. The region of origin for cantaloupes is often provided on a sticker placed on the fruit, or the information is available from stores.
Based on the available information, consumers may continue to buy and eat cantaloupes not originating from southwestern Indiana.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with salmonella often experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. Anyone who believes they may have become ill with salmonella should contact a health care provider.
Approximately 575 to 700 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in Minnesota. Information on salmonella and how to prevent it can be found on the Health Department's website at http://www.health.state.