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Salmonella in cut melons sickens 70 people, CDC says

Suspect melon sold in eight states: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.
by Maggie Fox /  / Updated  / Source: NBC News
The recall includes fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fresh-cut fruit medley products containing one of these melons.
The recall includes fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fresh-cut fruit medley products containing one of these melons.kaiskynet / Shutterstock

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At least 70 people have now been made sick after eating pre-cut melon contaminated with salmonella, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today.

The suspected cut melon products were sold in stores including Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Walgreens and Whole Foods, according to the CDC. Here is the full list.

They are all linked to the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, the CDC said. The company has recalled the melon.

“Recalled products were distributed to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio,” the CDC said. Today the CDC noted that two more states were reporting ill people: Kentucky and Tennessee.

People should not eat the recalled cut melon or fruit salad products, the CDC warned.

“Check your fridge and freezer for them and throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund,” the CDC said.

“If you don’t remember where you bought pre-cut melon, don’t eat it and throw it away.”

It’s likely more cases will turn up, the CDC said. It can take days or weeks for food-borne illnesses to get reported. So far, people have been reported ill in seven states.

Separately, the CDC is reporting an outbreak of salmonella linked to backyard chickens that had made 124 people in 36 states sick. The CDC says 21 people have been hospitalized. A third of the cases are in children under the age of 5.

Backyard chickens and chicks are a common source of salmonella.

“The people who got sick reported getting chicks and ducklings from places such as feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives,” the CDC said.

“People can get sick from salmonella from touching live poultry or their environment. Birds carrying the bacteria can appear healthy and clean,” it added.

“It’s important to always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment. Don’t let children younger than 5 years handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision.”

Salmonella is a very common cause of food poisoning. Every year, it makes about 1.2 million people sick, puts 23,000 into the hospital and kills 450 people in the U.S.

It causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

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