The Tennessee departments of Health and Agriculture are alerting Tennesseans about an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella linked to cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana. Cantaloupes grown on one farm have tested positive for the same type of Salmonella causing illness in Tennessee and several other states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and affected states are collaborating in an ongoing investigation to identify all possible sources of contamination and prevent additional cases of illness. At this point no cantaloupes grown in Tennessee have been confirmed to be involved in this outbreak.
“Tennesseans should ask about the origin of recently purchased cantaloupes and discard any cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist John Dunn, DVM, PhD. “We encourage anyone who has become ill after eating cantaloupe to see their health care provider and for providers to be mindful of patients who may have symptoms consistent with salmonellosis and report all cases to the local health department.”
Persons who recently purchased cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana are advised not to eat them and discard any remaining cantaloupe. Consumers can contact the store where they purchased cantaloupe to ask about the origin of the fruit. Based on the available information, consumers can continue to purchase and eat cantaloupes that did not originate in southwestern Indiana. Inquiring at the point of sale is advised. Many cantaloupes have the growing area identified with a sticker on the fruit. If no sticker is present, consumers should inquire about the source.
TDH has identified six cases of Salmonella infection associated with this outbreak. The Tennessee patients reside in several counties; three of the patients were hospitalized.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture officials are contacting retailers and distributors in Tennessee that may have received cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana. Food inspectors are also collecting samples of produce for laboratory analysis. The collection and testing protocol is in addition to routine, random sampling conducted by TDA.