salmonella watermelon.pngAn outbreak of Salmonella in six countries that has sickened 50 and killed one has been linked to ready-to-eat sliced watermelon.  The watermelons were imported from brazil.  The outbreak began in December, 2011.

According to the Daily Mail online, “Seventy per cent of the victims are female and include a six-month-old baby and pensioners. The one British fatality was suffering from a number of other underlying health problems.”

The UK’s Health Protection agency has been investigating the outbreak, and has revealed the strain of Salmonella to be Salmonella Newport. 

The breakdown of the cases by country:  England (26), Germany (15), Republic of Ireland (5), Scotland (5), Wales (3), N. Ireland (1). 

Watermelon was associated with an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at Sizzler restaurants in the U.S. in 2000.   In July of that year, an outbreak of 64 confirmed cases, and 551 probable cases were tied to watermelon that had been cross-contaminated with raw meat products.  Of those ill, four developed HUS and one died.