By Gina Cherelus
(Reuters) – An Indianapolis food company has voluntarily recalled fresh cut melon produced at its facility after reports of nearly 100 illnesses tied to Salmonella contamination.
Caito Foods LLC, a unit of SpartanNash Co., suspended production and distribution of pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and mixed fruit containing one of those melons, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement issued on Friday.
“Reports of illnesses linked to these products are under investigation, and Caito Foods is voluntarily recalling the products out of an abundance of caution,” the FDA said.
It said the FDA and Centers for Disease Control linked 93 illnesses to the strain of Salmonella, a bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.
The products were packaged in clear, plastic clamshell containers and distributed to 16 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
It said the risk that these products are contaminated with Salmonella was discovered through information gathered by state departments of public health.
“Because it is possible that products could still be on store shelves, this recall extends to both retailers and consumers. Consumers should not consume the product and should promptly dispose of any remaining product,” the FDA said.
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)