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Kroger, Others Removes Cut Melons from Stores
Ohio Ag Connection - 06/11/2018

The Kroger Co. is the latest to announce it is withdrawing Kroger pre-cut cantaloupe, pre-cut watermelon and pre-cut melon mixes sold in its Indiana and Michigan retail stores due to possible contamination from a strain of Salmonella Adelaide. Others also recalling pre-cut melons include SpartanNash Distributing, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Walgreens, Walmart and Whole Foods/Amazon.

On June 7, the company was informed by the CDC and FDA that multiple illnesses have been reported in connection with this outbreak. The products implicated were limited to select Kroger, Jay C, Owen's and Pay Less stores in Indiana and Michigan, and were provided by a third-party supplier that is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Although the reported illness onset ended on May 28 and the shelf life on these products is very limited, out of an abundance of caution Kroger immediately removed these products from its stores and has temporarily suspended shipment of any new products from this supplier. This withdrawal does not affect other pre-cut fruit available in stores.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide illnesses that may be linked to cut melons.

The FDA, CDC, along with state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide infections. Epidemiologic and preliminary traceback evidence indicates that pre-cut melon distributed by Caito Foods, LLC is a likely source of this outbreak.

Caito Foods, LLC -- part of CFS Family Holdings, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., has voluntarily recalled their products, to prevent further distribution of potentially contaminated products.

The recalled products were packaged in clear, plastic clamshell containers and distributed in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. The FDA is currently working with state partners to trace back the pre-cut melons to identify the source of the pathogen, to determine the full distribution of the pre-cut melons, and to learn more about how the contamination occurred.

There are 60 people ill with this strain of Salmonella in five states: IL (6), IN (11), MI (32), MO (10), OH (1). The ages of the ill people range from less than one year to 97 (median 67 years) and 65% of cases are female. Reported illness onset dates range from April 30 to May 28. Among 47 with available information, 31 (66%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Kroger's customers who have purchased the above products from the company's Indiana and Michigan store locations should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement.

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