Valdosta – August 22, 2012 -
The Georgia Department of Public Health, along with numerous state, local and federal public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections. One Lowndes County resident has been identified of being infected in this outbreak.
A total of 141 persons have been infected from 20 states. The source of the outbreak has been identified as cantaloupes from a farm in southwestern Indiana. The vendor has contacted its distributors and is withdrawing its cantaloupe from the market place, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site.
The Lowndes County resident is a female under the age of 5. No other identifying information will be released, states Courtney Sheeley, Public Information Officer. The child was not hospitalized and is at home doing well. This is the only case of Salmonella Typhimurium that has been identified in Georgia thus far.
Cantaloupes are grown on the ground and their rough surface can capture dirt and bacteria. Cutting and slicing the cantaloupe may transfer harmful bacteria from the fruit’s surface to the fruit’s flesh, so consumers should scrub the surface of cantaloupes with a clean produce brush prior to cutting. Refrigerate any unused fruit.
The public is warned not to purchase cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana. If the growing location is not indicated on the produce, consumers should inquire about the source. When it doubt, throw it out.