Two Minnesota companies are recalling packages of cut cantaloupe — which have all run well past their expiration dates and are likely no longer available — in response to a national outbreak of salmonella tied to the melon.
Cut Fruit Express of Inver Grove Heights is recalling Caribou Coffee Fruit Mix sold at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport with a use-by date of Nov. 4; Cut Fruit Express packages of mixed fruit with use-by dates of Nov. 4-6; and food-service packages that expired Nov. 3, according to a Food and Drug Administration announcement last week.
No illnesses were reported in connection with the recalled product.
Bix Produce in Little Canada is recalling containers of cut cantaloupe sold under the Created Fresh and Jack & Olive brands that were sold at convenience stores and delis in the Upper Midwest. The affected products had use-by dates of Oct. 25-26 and have not been tied to any reported illnesses.
"The recall was initiated after a supplier notified Bix Produce that they had delivered recalled Malachita cantaloupes to Bix Produce and that those had been processed and distributed by Bix Produce," the company said in a news release last week. "If you cannot tell if your cantaloupe is part of the recall, do not eat or use it. Throw it away."
Kwik Trip convenience stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin and elsewhere in the Midwest also recalled fruit cups and trays last week, with use-by dates of Nov. 4 to Dec. 3. No illnesses have been reported in connection with those products.
Minnesota has been hardest-hit by the salmonella outbreak related to cantaloupe grown in Mexico that were sold under the Malichita or Rudy brands. In Minnesota, two people have died and 14 have been sickened, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 117 people in 34 states were infected by the food-borne illness.
The tainted cantaloupe should no longer be on shelves after the first recall was announced Nov. 9, but elderly and very young consumers and those with compromised immune systems should especially continue to take extra precautions, health officials say.
"Do not eat pre-cut cantaloupes if you don't know whether Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupes were used," the CDC says.
Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps with symptoms beginning six hours to six days after infection. Most cases clear within a week, but the strain of salmonella in this outbreak has had a higher rate of hospitalization than most.