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The Latest News for Georgia's Family Child Care Providers

Food Safety Warning for Cantaloupes

From our friends at DECAL:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a food safety alert regarding an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to cantaloupes. Recently, seven children enrolled in child care programs have become sick from eating contaminated cantaloupe. Children under the age of five can become very sick from Salmonella.

What Child Care Programs Should Do

  • Do not use recalled whole or pre-cut cantaloupes.

  • Do not serve pre-cut cantaloupe if it is unknown whether recalled whole cantaloupes were used.

Key Points:

  • As of November 28, 2023, this Salmonella outbreak has caused 117 illnesses, 61 hospitalizations, and two deaths.

  • Whole cantaloupes from brands Malichita and Rudy have been recalled. Many pre-cut cantaloupe products have also been recalled.

  • The CDC advises not to eat pre-cut cantaloupes if it is unknown whether Malichita or Rudy brand whole cantaloupes were used.

  • This outbreak is concerning to the CDC because related illnesses are severe with more than half being hospitalized. These include children and staff from child care programs.

    • One-third of the infected are children ages 5 years and younger, many of which attended child care programs prior to becoming sick.

    • The CDC advises facilities that care for people who are at a higher risk for severe illness to not serve cantaloupes that may be contaminated. This includes whole and pre-cut cantaloupes.

What to Do:

  • Do not eat pre-cut cantaloupes if it is unknown whether Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupes were used. This includes cantaloupe chunks and fruit mixes with cantaloupes at restaurants and grocery stores.

  • Do not eat any recalled whole or pre-cut cantaloupe products. If in possession of recalled fruit, throw it away or return it to the store.

  • If whole cantaloupes do not have an identifying sticker, check with the store to make sure it is not a Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupe.

  • Wash items and surfaces that may have touched cantaloupes using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

  • Call your healthcare provider if any of these severe Salmonella symptoms are present:

    • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F

    • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving

    • Bloody diarrhea

    • Severe vomiting where liquids cannot be kept down

    • Signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up, infrequent to no urination

Salmonella Symptoms:

  • Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

    • Symptoms usually start 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria.

    • Most people recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days.

  • Some people—especially children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems—may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.

  • For more information about Salmonella, see the Salmonella Questions and Answers page.

Please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health at 404-657-2700 with all questions and concerns.

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