(StraightNews.org) – More than 6,500 cases of cantaloupes have been recalled across 19 states due to fears of salmonella contamination. Eagle Produce issued the recall after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted tests at a distribution center and warned people who purchased the fruit between September 5 and 16 not to eat them but to dispose of them safely.
The states affected are California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, DC. The FDA confirmed that, as of September 27, there were no reported cases of related illness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, salmonella is a bacterial infection that affects the digestive system. It can cause severe and painful symptoms, and it can be fatal in vulnerable populations. It lives in animal and human intestines, and the most direct route to human infection is through contaminated water or food. While some people suffer no symptoms, most will experience diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
The majority of those infected recover within a couple of days, but pregnant women, the elderly, or people with weak immune systems could experience life-threatening complications. The infection can also be dangerous if the bacteria reach past the intestines and enter the bloodstream.
There have been several salmonella outbreaks in America; historically, some have cost hundreds of lives. The largest death count can be traced back to the Civil War when an outbreak killed over 65,000 soldiers. Typhoid fever, derived from Salmonella typhi, caused the deaths of more than a thousand people in Philadelphia in 1906. Death numbers have reduced dramatically in recent decades but have not disappeared altogether.
In 1985, the Hillfarm Dairy salmonellosis outbreak in Illinois killed at least 9, and 6 people died from Salmonella Poona food poisoning in 2015 after eating cucumbers imported from Mexico. Papayas from Mexico were responsible for a major recall in 2017, affecting 25 states and killing two people.
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