Fruit Recall Grows Across 32 States, Claiming 2 Lives in One Region

As of this weekend, the potentially contaminated fruit has been identified as the source of 99 illnesses, 45 hospitalizations, and unfortunately, now multiple deaths.

If you’ve recently grabbed fruit to help keep your nutrition on track with the holidays here, hopefully you’re also aware of the growing Salmonella outbreak has been linked to a classic melon: What initially began as a small recall of select diced fruit on November 17, 2023, has expanded.

As of November 24, the potentially contaminated fruit has been identified as the source of 99 illnesses, 45 hospitalizations, and unfortunately, two deaths across 32 states.

Whole and pre-chopped cantaloupes, sold nationwide by various companies, have been linked to many of these illnesses. This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue alerts regarding the outbreak. The affected states are widespread, with the highest number of reported illnesses in Minnesota, where the two deaths also occurred.

The last illness was reported on November 10, but the investigation is ongoing, considering the possibility of other fruits being tied to the outbreak.

It’s important to note that it takes several weeks before an illness can be definitively linked to an outbreak. In Canada, a public health notice related to the cantaloupe recall has also been released as five provinces have experienced over 60 suspected Salmonella infections with one death.

Several companies have issued recalls for cantaloupe product ranging from whole to fresh-cut. Trufresh, Crown Jewels, Pacific Trellis, and ALDI have recalled whole cantaloupes, while ALDI, Vinyard, Freshness Guaranteed, and RaceTrac are recalling cut packaged cantaloupe and other fruits. Additional details, including where the fruit was sold, photos of affected products, and other important information, can be found in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notices.

Whole cantaloupes:

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Vinyard Brand pre-cut cantaloupes:

  • Includes cantaloupe cubes, melon medleys, and fruit medleys.
  • Sold in Oklahoma stores between October 30 and November 10, 2023.
  • Most have a yellow label with “Vinyard,” and some have a red label with “Fresh.”
  • See recall notice for product photos and more details.

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ALDI Whole Cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products:

  • Whole cantaloupes, cantaloupe chunks, and pineapple spears.
  • Best-by dates between October 27 and October 31, 2023.
  • Sold in ALDI stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • ALDI reports no direct illnesses tied to these products. Refer to the recall notice for more details.

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Freshness Guaranteed Brand and RaceTrac Brand pre-cut cantaloupes:

  • Cantaloupe chunks, seasonal blend, melon mixes, and fruit mixes.
  • Packed in clear square or round plastic containers.
  • Best-by dates between November 7 and November 12, 2023.
  • Sold in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
  • Read the recall notice for more details.

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What to do if you suspect you’ve eaten tainted cantaloupe

If you have any of the potentially contaminated fruit, dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase. Ensure thorough sanitization of anything the fruit may have touched, and discard any shopping bags that may have carried the fruit.

If you suspect that the cantaloupe you consumed may have made you sick, report your illness and keep track of where the fruit came from. Symptoms of Salmonella typically start within 12 hours but can begin several days later and may include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms usually clear up within a week, but children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems may require additional medical care or hospitalization.

As always, when handling cantaloupe and melons, it’s crucial to wash the rind before cutting into them, as bacteria on the rind can transfer into the fruit. However, this precaution should not be attempted with recalled fruit, which should be thrown out immediately.

Meaghan Cameron, MS
Meaghan has more than 15 years of experience in writing and editing food, travel, fitness, sports, and lifestyle material. Her professional journey began at Reader's Digest, where she honed her skills and developed a passion for creating engaging content. Throughout her career, she has contributed her expertise to renowned platforms such as Food Network, Martha Stewart, Outside Television, and Eat This, Not That! Additionally, Meaghan has valuable experience in radio and video production. Before entering the world of content creation, Meaghan spent more than a decade working in the restaurant industry. This hands-on experience has provided her with insider knowledge and secrets about the workings of the industry. Meaghan holds a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase and a master's degree in publishing from Pace University.