The FDA has quietly announced that cut cantaloupe is behind an outbreak of Salmonella Javiana infections. The CDC remains mum on the topic.

In a weekly update, the Food and Drug Administration added two words to a line item about the Salmonella Javiana outbreak — cut cantaloupe. The outbreak has sickened at least 65 people but the FDA has not revealed what states the people live in.

The FDA reports that as of Jan. 13 the outbreak has ended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not released any information about the outbreak despite the FDA has identified the probable cause. The FDA has not reported information regarding the patients’ ages or illness onset dates. Neither did the agency report whether there were any hospitalizations or deaths in the outbreak.

According to information released by the FDA in December 2021, fresh-cut fruit from Taylor Cut Produce, which was eventually recalled, was the likely culprit in the Salmonella Javiana outbreak. 

The company recalled an undisclosed amount of its “Fruit Luau” that was linked to the outbreak. At that time the company reported the implicated fruit was distributed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware between Nov. 15 and Dec. 1. Tailor Cut Produce officials said the recalled product could be in restaurants, banquet facilities, hotels, schools, and institutional food service establishments.

“The potential for contamination was noted after several patients fell ill in four hospitals in Pennsylvania. Production of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem,” according to a December 2021 recall notice from Taylor Cut Produce.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the epidemiologic evidence collected as of early December 2021 indicated that the fruit mix was a potential source of the illnesses. The state’s review of invoices shows that a common food eaten by many confirmed outbreak patients was the fruit mix from Tailor Cut Produce.

About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.

Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.

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