CDC announces foodborne illness outbreaks linked to fruit


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Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a death in an ongoing Listeria outbreak linked to peaches, plums, and nectarines, following an announcement of a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 43 people in 15 states, all linked to cantaloupes and fruit medleys that contain cantaloupe cubes.

Deadly Listeria outbreak

So far at least 11 people in seven states have been sickened with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause severe and fatal infections in young children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

One person has died, and ten people have been hospitalized. In addition, one person got sick during her pregnancy and had a preterm labor, the CDC said. Illness onsets range from August 2018 to August 2023.

Three people each in Florida and California have been sickened in the outbreak, with single cases reported in Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio. "The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses," the CDC said.

Late last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that HMC Farms is voluntarily recalling peaches, plums and nectarines sold in stores between May 1 and November 15, 2022, and between May 1 and November 15, 2023.

Although the recalled fruit is no longer available in retail stores, consumers may have frozen the recalled fruit at home for later use.

"Although the recalled fruit is no longer available in retail stores, consumers may have frozen the recalled fruit at home for later use. Consumers are urged to check their freezers for the recalled fruit, not consume it, and discard it," the FDA said in a notice.

Salmonella outbreak tied to melons

In the 43-case Salmonella outbreak, recalled fruit has been identified as Trufresh whole cantaloupes with a sticker stating "Malichita," "4050," and "Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique;" Vineyard brand pre-cut fruit sold in Oklahoma stores from October 30 to November 10, 2023; and whole cantaloupes, cantaloupe chunks in clamshell packaging, and pineapple spears in clamshell packaging sold in Aldi stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin from October 27 to October 31, 2023.

So far no one has died in the outbreak, but 17 people have been hospitalized from complications.

Arizona has the most cases so far, with 7, followed by Missouri and Minnesota with 5 cases. Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Illinois each have 4 cases, and Kentucky and Texas each have 3 cases.

In epidemiologic interviews, 15 of 29 people reported eating cantaloupe in the 2 weeks prior to illness onset.

The median age of those sickened in the outbreak is 62 years, and illnesses started on dates ranging from October 17, 2023, to November 6, 2023.

As with the Listeria outbreak, the CDC said the Salmonella outbreak is likely much larger than reported.


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