The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to be cautious about eating pre-cut cantaloupe if they cannot verify its source. At least five people in Georgia have become infected with Salmonella likely due to eating the contaminated cantaloupe. Across the country, 117 people have also been sickened, nearly half requiring hospitalization. 

The Salmonella cases reported in Georgia range in age from 1-81. The cases are from different areas of the state, not concentrated in any one place. One individual was hospitalized but has since been released.   

The recalled cantaloupe is sold in Georgia at Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joes, and Kroger stores. The cantaloupe is sold as pre-cut chunks or in fruit mixes. Whole cantaloupes that are also part of the recall may have a sticker that says “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the number 4050 and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique.” More information about the recall can be found on the FDA website:

Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps and recover without treatment in 4-7 days. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned about this outbreak because the illnesses associated with it are severe, including fevers higher than 102°F, not being able to keep down liquids, and diarrhea that lasts more than three days without improving. Individuals who may have eaten the recalled cantaloupe should contact their healthcare provider if they have severe Salmonella symptoms. 

Do not eat pre-cut cantaloupe or whole cantaloupe if you don’t know whether it is Malichita or Rudy brand. If you have any of the recalled cantaloupe, throw it away or return it to the store where you purchased it. 

Rinsing pre-cut cantaloupe does not remove all germs if it is already contaminated with Salmonella. Rinsing whole cantaloupes can reduce the number of germs but it does not remove all germs. Germs on the surface of cantaloupes can then get onto the knife and inside the fruit when you cut the cantaloupe. Wash items and surfaces that may have touched the cantaloupe using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.