A Hy-Vee store in the Kansas City, Kan., area lets shoppers know fresh-cut melons at the store have not been recalled. ( Daniel Vanderhorst )

A recall of fresh-cut cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon products by Caito Foods, Indianapolis, has spread to 23 states and hundreds of retail locations — but the number of people with the salmonella strain linked to the outbreak has remained the same.

The Food and Drug Administration updated the list of states and retailers involved on June 14, adding 10 states to the distribution area for the melon products. The original Caito Foods news release dated June 8 listed five states with 60 cases of Salmonella Adelaide, with 31 people sent to hospitals. That number has not changed since the original recall notice.

The melon products were shipped to Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Costco and other retailers, according to the FDA’s update, which includes a full list of retailers and distributors.

States with retailers involved in the recall are: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The illnesses have been reported in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, and state and local health officials are working with the federal agencies on the investigation.

The products are in clamshells in various sizes. They include fresh-cut honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon in separate packs, but also melon medley packs of all three varieties. All products have best by/use by dates of April 27 to June 16.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed Caito of the outbreak, and the company initiated the recall, according to the original news release. The company has stopped producing the products, which came from a plant in Indianapolis.

On June 1, the FDA learned of the Salmonella Adelaide infections in the states that are associated with exposure to fruit salad mixes that include pre-cut melons. Federal and state/local health authorities then linked the product to Caito, which issued the recall June 8.

On June 13, “additional distribution information” identifies more retailers that received potentially contaminated product, according to the FDA update.

Retailers were asked to remove the products, and consumers are also being advised about the outbreak and removal from stores “because it is possible that products shipped between April 17 and June 7, 2018, could still be on shelves,” according to the original release.

The Salmonella Adelaide outbreak was discovered through analysis of reports from state health departments, according to the CDC.

Michigan has the highest number of cases, with 32 people with the Salmonella Adelaide strain. The reported illness onset dates range from April 30 to May 28. Among 47 with “available information,” 31 have been hospitalized, according to the FDA.

Submitted by Old Berry Farmer on Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:33

It a shame as this is pure neglect on the group cutting the fruit, however they are not alone, I has in a largest chain in the Southeast the other day and was showing the Produce Manager a lot of mycelium on the stem of a cantaloupe, the manger took the fruit to the back, cut off the end and put it in a tray and hot wrapped it for sale. Does not matter what the farmer does or the supplier, the end user is our worst enemy in food safety.

Submitted by J. Grower on Sun, 06/17/2018 - 13:33

I think it simply shows that we all play a huge role in keeping the consumer safe. While I am not in the melon business I am in the produce business. It is common that many companies, employees and other individuals play a huge role in what we deliver to the consumer. We all need to be educated, concerned and involved with making the right decisions that create a safe product with exceptional quality for our markets. The concept of delivering anything that is unsafe is completely unacceptable.

In reply to by Old Berry Farmer (not verified)

Submitted by Rbflying on Sat, 06/23/2018 - 20:48

Are any whole melons recalled?