The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak that sickened 88 people last summer but has waited until now to let folks know. In today’s announcement of the outbreak, accompanied by a 15-page report, the agency stated that it was able to link the illnesses to cantaloupe grown in Southwest Indiana last summer through epidemiology and traceback investigations but it was unable to find in the melon the genomic match of the Salmonella strain cultured from patients.
To clarify, it found Salmonella in the melon, the packinghouse, and on the farms where the melon was grown, but none of their genetic “fingerprints” matched the outbreak strain. “Although the investigation did not result in the identification of a specific microbial source or route that resulted in this outbreak, the agency identified Salmonella spp. in on-farm, post-harvest, and off-farm environments,” the report states.
Did you get a Salmonella infection from contaminated cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Investigation
Health officials gathered food histories from patients and used this information to discover if they had all eaten the same thing before they became ill. Cantaloupe was identified through this process. Then the FDA used purchase information gathered from patients to find out where they bought melon and traced back who supplied the stores with the cantaloupe. This led to the identification of a common packinghouse and three farms.
One of the samples investigators collected from the packinghouse was positive for Salmonella Newport. The equipment that yielded the swab was not in use at the time of the investigation as the season had ended. But whole genome sequencing tests on the sample show that the strain found on the equipment was a match to isolates recovered from Farm 2 and Farm 3 and to 23 clinical isolates (from people who got sick) that were collected between 2017 and 2022, meaning the strain has caused illness. In fact, Farm 2 had a second strain of Salmonella Newport that was linked to three other illnesses that occurred in 206, 2019, and 2021.
2022 Cantaloupe Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak
The 2022 cantaloupe Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak sickened 88 people in 11 states between August and September. Thirty-two people were hospitalized. The number of cases reported from each state was: GA (1), IL (5), IN (17), IA (39), KY (3), MI (3), MN (4), MO (2), OH (3), SC(1), and WI (10).
Salmonella Lawyers with Experience
If you have been sickened by cantaloupe that was contaminated with Salmonella Typhimurium and would like a free consultation with a Salmonella lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman Salmonella Legal Team. Our attorneys have represented clients in every major Salmonella outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.