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A pre-cut fruit Salmonella outbreak has sickened 18 people in Washington and Oregon, news sources are reporting.
Officials in both states said they have traced the outbreak to pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe and fruit mixes containing those fruits. The products were purchased from four grocery-story chains: Fred Meyer, QFC, Rosauers, and Central Market. Authorities are trying to determine if other retailers are involved.
Anyone who bought the products from those stores between the dates of Oct. 25 and Dec. 1 should return the product or throw it away. “They should not eat it,” said Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority.
The Washington Department of Health sent out public notice of the pre-cut fruit Salmonella outbreak on Friday. The agency is working to determine the source of the fruit, including where it was cut and packaged.
The most recent illness was reported Nov. 15. Officials said it’s possible they will learn about more cases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating, Modie said.
Two of the 18 confirmed cases occurred in Oregon, Modie said, one in Multnomah County and one in Wasco County. Both people purchased the fruit from Fred Meyer, and the products carried Fred Meyer labels. Neither case required hospitalization.
Pre-cut fruit Salmonella outbreak symptoms
The CDC reports that Salmonella bacteria is responsible for as many as 1 million foodborne illnesses in the U.S. annually. The Salmonella bacteria produces an illness called Salmonellosis, which affects the intestinal tract. It and is one of the most common types of food poisoning annually.
Symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning can last for as long as a week and include:
- abdominal pain