FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2018
Contact:
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Bill Cosh, DATCP, 608-224-5020
Leeann Duwe, DATCP, 608-224-5005

Foodborne Illness Advisory: Pre-Cut Melons Linked to Salmonella

Consumers should throw away potentially contaminated foods

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) are alerting Wisconsin consumers to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide infections linked to the consumption of pre-cut melons. At this time, no cases have been identified in Wisconsin residents, but the recalled products were sold at locations in the state.

The FDA has identified Costco stores in the following Wisconsin cities as having distributed the recalled pre-cut melon:

  • Bellevue (Green Bay)
  • Grafton
  • Grand Chute
  • Menomonee Falls
  • Middleton
  • New Berlin
  • Pewaukee
  • Pleasant Prairie
  • Sun Prairie

The full list of stores distributing this product is available on the FDA’s website and may expand to include other stores as the investigation continues. Consumers who have purchased recalled pre-cut melon from these stores, including fruit salad mixes with pre-cut melon, should not to eat it and throw it away.

To date, no cases have been reported in Wisconsin , but public health officials continue to monitor for cases. Nationally, 60 people infected with the Salmonella strain have been reported in other Midwest states. States that have reported illnesses include Illinois (6 cases), Indiana (11), Michigan (32), Missouri (10), and Ohio (1).

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. The elderly, infants, and those with weak immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Individuals who believe they may have become ill with Salmonella should contact their health care provider. More information about this outbreak and steps to take to reduce the risk of infection can be found on the CDC’s website.

The following are general food safety tips when preparing any fresh produce:

  • Rinse raw produce, such as fruits and vegetables, thoroughly under running tap water before eating, cutting, or cooking. Even if the produce will be peeled, it should still be washed first.
  • Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged.
  • When selecting pre-cut produce — such as a half a watermelon or bagged salad greens — choose only those items that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice.
  • Bag fresh fruits and vegetables separately from meat, poultry, and seafood products when packing them to take home from the market.
  • Check that your refrigerator is clean and is set to operate at 40° F or below.