On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that cantaloupes were linked with an outbreak of salmonella across twenty U.S. states. The salmonella outbreak thus far has killed two and sickened more than 140 more people. Thirty-one of those people sickened have had to be admitted to hospitals. Kentucky has had the most reports of people sickened with 50, while Illinois has had 17 and Indiana reported 13.
FDA officials are now in the process of investigating the many different sources that might have caused the outbreak and will continue to maintain the public informed through periodic updates as more information becomes available, said a prepared statement released by the FDA.
The regulatory agency did not name a specific farm or farms that the cantaloupe with salmonella had come from and could not list any possible store or stores where the fruit might have been sold. However, FDA health officials in Kentucky and Indiana announced they had located evidence linking the cantaloupes to Indiana’s southwestern region.
It was nearly one year ago that 30 people died and over 145 were sickened from a listeria outbreak in cantaloupe that were grown on a farm in Colorado. The outbreak last year represented the most deaths from a listeria outbreak in more than 90 years.
A state of Washington lawyer, who is representing some of the victims from last year’s outbreak of listeria, said that it was important that health officials were releasing how many people had become ill and those that died, but why not release information of the farms that are involved and the stores where the cantaloupe were possibly sold.
Salmonella sickens more than 1.2 million people in the U.S. each year making it the most frequent cause of foodborne illnesses in the country.