Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Malichita Brand Cantaloupes in Ottawa, Ontario, Quebec

Police – Accident – Death – Obituary News : OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 17, 2023 /CNW/ – The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working closely with federal and provincial public health partners, as well as the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to investigate an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella infections in three provinces: British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.

Through their investigation, PHAC has identified Malichita brand cantaloupes as the likely source of the outbreak. Several individuals who fell ill reported consuming cantaloupe prior to the onset of their symptoms. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is currently conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If additional products are recalled, the CFIA will inform the public through further food recall warnings.

To prevent illness, it is advised that individuals, retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and food service establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, long-term care homes, and daycares, across Canada should not eat, serve, use, sell, or distribute Malichita brand cantaloupes or any products made with them. If the brand of cantaloupe cannot be verified, it is recommended to discard the cantaloupe.

As the investigation continues, the PHAC will provide updates on the situation.

So far, there have been 14 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Soahanina and Sundsvall illness linked to this outbreak. These cases have been reported in British Columbia (3), Ontario (3), and Quebec (8). Additional cases are currently under investigation, and it is possible that more illnesses associated with this outbreak will be confirmed. The affected individuals became sick between mid-October and early-November 2023. Three individuals have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. The age range of those affected is from 0 to 100 years, with the majority of cases (67%) being female.

The CFIA issued food recall warnings on November 1 and November 14 for Malichita brand cantaloupes that were sold between October 11 and November 14, 2023. During their investigation, the CFIA discovered the outbreak strain of Salmonella in a sample of the recalled Malichita brand cantaloupe.

It is important to note that more recent illnesses may be reported in relation to this outbreak, as there is a lag between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials. In this case, the reporting period for illnesses is between 2 and 4 weeks.

The U.S. CDC is also conducting an investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella Sundsvall illnesses linked to cantaloupes, which is suspected to be the same genetic strain as the illnesses reported in this Canadian outbreak.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection typically appear 6 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria and last for about 4-7 days. Common symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and abdominal cramps. It is important to note that infected individuals can spread Salmonella to others for several days to weeks, even if they are asymptomatic. Salmonella can be transmitted through person-to-person contact and contaminated surfaces. While most people recover from a Salmonella infection without treatment, severe illness and hospitalization can occur.

Anyone can contract a Salmonella infection, but certain individuals are at higher risk for serious illness. These include infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

To protect your health, it is advised that individuals, retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and food service establishments in Canada take the following precautions:

– Do not consume or distribute Malichita brand cantaloupes or any products made with them. Check your home or freezer for any Malichita brand cantaloupes, including pre-cut cantaloupe in fruit medleys, and discard them. Remember to wash your hands afterwards.
– If you are unable to verify the brand of cantaloupe, it is recommended to throw it out.
– Clean and sanitize all surfaces and storage areas that may have come into contact with Malichita brand cantaloupes or any products made with them, including countertops, containers, utensils, freezers, and refrigerators.
– If you have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food for others.

For additional information, please refer to the Malachita Brand Sticker (CNW Group/Public Health Agency of Canada).

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada.

Leave a Comment