Another Death, More Illnesses Blamed on Tainted Cantaloupe

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Editor's note: This story was updated Dec. 11, 2023. 

Nov. 27, 2023 – Three people have died amid 230 confirmed cases of salmonella infections linked to cantaloupes, according to CDC and Canadian health officials.

Two deaths occurred in Minnesota, and a third in Oregon. The 230 reported U.S. cases span 38 states. An additional person has died in Canada, where so far 129 people have had lab-confirmed cases of salmonella linked to contaminated cantaloupes. 

Both whole and precut cantaloupe products have been recalled that were sold at multiple retailers under multiple brand names. The cantaloupe recalls currently listed by the CDC are:

  • Whole cantaloupes that might have a sticker on them that says “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the number “4050” and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique.”
  • Some Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupes, melon and fruit medleys sold in Oklahoma.
  • Some ALDI whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products such as pineapple spears that were sold in specific states.
  • Some Freshness Guaranteed brand and RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes, including melon and fruit mixes, sold in specific states.

Recalled products should be thrown away or returned where they were purchased, the CDC advises. Surfaces and items that may have come in contact with recalled items should be washed with hot, soapy water or in a dishwasher.

The CDC also says that people who have any of the following severe salmonella symptoms should contact a health care provider:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up

Dozens of people in both the U.S. and Canada have been hospitalized with salmonella infections linked to the outbreak. Most infected people will develop symptoms between 6 hours and 6 days of exposure. So far, the cantaloupe salmonella outbreak has affected people ranging in age from infants to people 100 years old, the CDC says.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella,” the CDC explained in its most recent investigation update. “In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak."