CDC warns to not eat pre-cut cantaloupe after 18 new illnesses

Health officials are warning shoppers to stay away from some cantaloupe sold at certain stores after 18 more illnesses linked to the fruit were reported amid an ongoing salmonella outbreak.

Since some brands of cantaloupe were first recalled earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration have been cautioning consumers to stay away from the melons, and the list of stores that sold the recalled product has grown.

The fruit has been linked to at least two deaths, 117 illnesses and 61 hospitalizations in 34 states, according to the CDC. Eighteen of the illnesses have been reported since Nov. 24.

The CDC alerted consumers Thursday that the recall now includes pre-cut cantaloupe sold at major grocery stores Kroger, Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market.

Consumers should also refrain from buying pre-cut cantaloupe sold at Aldi, Kwik Trip, Freshness Guaranteed, RaceTrac, Vinyard and Bix Produce.

The CDC also still recommends staying away from whole cantaloupes from the brands Malichita or Rudy, and warns not to eat pre-cut or whole cantaloupe if it’s unknown whether the fruit came from those brands.

The CDC has advised people to wash anything that has touched the recalled fruit.

Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps in most cases, with symptoms setting in anywhere from six hours to six days after ingesting the bacteria.