Over the Easter weekend the FDA issued an alert to consumers and grocers about a possible risk of salmonella associated with cantaloupes imported by Agropecuaria Montelibano, a Honduran grower and packer. Research has lead health authorities to believe that cantaloupes imported by this company may be associated with over 50 reported cases of salmonella. All cantaloupes imported by this company are being detained to prevent further contamination and greater risk to the public.
In addition, the FDA has contacted importers about this action and is advising U.S. grocers, food service operators, and produce processors to remove from their stock any cantaloupes from this company. The FDA also advises consumers who have recently bought cantaloupes to check with the place of purchase to determine if the fruit came from this specific grower and packer. If so, consumers should throw away the cantaloupes.
The FDA has received reports of 50 illnesses from 16 states and nine additional reports have come out of Canada. Hospitalization has been required in 14 cases but no fatalities have been reported.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Salmonella can infiltrate the blood stream leading to a potentially fatal infection. Anyone who has recently eaten cantaloupe and has experienced these symptoms should immediately contact a physician.